BIO-Complexity, Vol 2016

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Who are the parents of Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0?

Scott T. Matuscak, Change Laura Tan


The rapid advancement of technology is causing people to re-think many ideas that were once considered certainties. During a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in May 2010, Dr. Craig Venter stated that his team had created “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” Their work was published in Science in July 2010. Briefly, the Venter team created a synthetic bacterium, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0, whose genome sequence is composed of the genome sequence of M. mycoides, a yeast cloning vector, and some artificial DNA sequence. This paper provides a detailed analysis of their project and several possible indicators that the statement made by Dr. Craig Venter concerning the parents of the synthetic cells might not be altogether reliable, by following the various contributions made by M. mycoides, M. capricolum, yeast, E. coli, and humans.

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