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Scientists Build a Yeast Chromosome From Scratch. Next Up? Designer Genomes

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Creating synthetic organisms with specially-tailored genomes is a long way off, but the first synthetic eukaryotic chromosome is a big step forward.

Humans have been using what they know about the biological world to make stuff for centuries—from beer to antibiotics. But, what if you could manipulate that world at a very basic, genetic level to make something you needed? Programming a cell to produce a drug, generate energy, or attack a pathogen in the body seems like the stuff of science fiction, but that’s what the emerging field of synthetic biology promises.

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