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The Mean Gene Evolution Machine

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have created a new genome engineering machine officially called MAGE (multiplex automated genome engineering) that can tweak dozens of genes to create billions of unique microbial strains in a few days.

"MAGE relies on the tendency of cells to incorporate little bits of laboratory made DNA into their dividing chromosomes. Researchers can customize those bits so they modify specific genes and even parts of genes."

"This technique allows us to do some amount of rapid evolution," says Harris Wang, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, who led the project along with colleagues Farren Isaacs and George Church.

"The general motivation behind what we're trying to do is develop a set of techniques that will allow us to write into the genome of any organism with the same ease that we are able to read from the genome by DNA sequencing," he adds."

Using MAGE's technology, scientists are now teaming up with biofuels and chemical manufacturers in hopes of creating engineered strains that could eventually be used on an industrial scale.
 
 

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