Synthetic cells, made using a chemically synthesized genome and components of the mycoplasma bacterium, can grow like natural bacterial cells and divide into cells of the same shape and size.
“The Minimal Cell has many unknown genes that are necessary for the cell to live, even though we have no idea what they do – this is an exciting area for future research,” says James Pelletier of the Massachusetts Institute of technology, one of the study’s authors.
This research is expected to shed light on how life is formed in the evolutionary process and the principles of the life phenomenon. Because in the evolutionary process, minimal cells form a good analogue as the common ancestor of all living things.
“Potential applications in Agriculture, Nutrition, biomedicine and environmental remediation are very broad,” says Jef Boeke of New York University, also about the study. “The ability to correct and improve the biological code in this way is a very important step to take us forward.”