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SAY HELLO TO SYNTHIA
In 2003, JCVI successfully synthesized a small virus that infects bacteria. By 2008, the JCVI team was able to synthesize a small bacterial genome. On May 6, 2010, JCVI revealed they had already created a self-replicating bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome they named “synthetic Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0”. (7) This completely synthetic cell with its computer designed genome has absolutely no natural DNA. (1) The etc group from Canada named it Synthia and it contains added watermark chains to identify the genome as artificial. It also has antibiotic resistance indicators. (7) One can only speculate why this artificial bacterium has an inherent programmed capability to resist antibiotics.
This new life form has the ability to replicate itself and organically function in any cell into which it has been introduced. Its DNA is artificial and it’s this synthetic DNA that takes control of the cell and is credited with being the building block of life. This is the first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell thanks to its computer generated DNA. All of the funding for this came from Synthetic Genomics Inc (1), the company BP has a sizable equity position and alliance with.