September 21, 2017

Synthetic Biology Gets A Potentially Huge Boost

synthetic biology

Huge advances are being made with synthetic substances that can be used to support life

Science continues to yield some amazing results. A recent breakthrough by Princeton chemist, Hecht, is bringing futuristic science fiction to reality. The chemist essentially built life from scratch, utilizing synthetic proteins to support life.

Through extensive research, scientists cataloged one million amino acide sequences. These sequences are what give identity to proteins, which are seen as the workhorses of organisms. The sequences created by the scientists can fold into three dimensional structures. Using brand new genetic material, the scientists demonstrated that artificial proteins injected into living cells caused the cells to thrive.

Proof of concept was completed on strains of bacteria. They injected the synthetic versions of proteins they had created into the bacteria, giving them life after their original set of genes had been deleted.

These advances in life creation can have polarizing effects, though. Environmental groups tend to show serious concerns about the imminent consequences of developing such technology. The general public also holds a sense of nervousness about the idea of creating life.

The hope, however is that the new advances in the field of synthetic biology will yield positive results that will enhance and help mankind. For instance new medicines could be developed using synthetic sources, or previously undiscovered energy sources could be brought to light.