Scientists Successfully Create a Self-Replicating Reproductive Genome in the Lab

By: | February 29th, 2020

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute have created a lab-grown artificial genome capable of reproducing itself like a natural one.

We all know that one of the main characteristic of life is the ability for processes to reproduce themselves. So far, this was considered as a natural process. However scientists have discovered a way for a system to regenerate parts of its own DNA and protein building blocks.

Recently this research was published in the journal Nature Communications. In the paper, researchers demonstrated the way they assembled genomes made up of blueprints for proteins. They also described that it was capable of replicating 116 kilobytes worth of its own RNA and DNA.

For this discovery, researchers worked on imitating the replication of genomes and protein synthesis. They did so as these processes are essential for the self-preservation and reproduction of biological systems.

The first author of the study, Kai Libicher, said “Unlike previous studies, our system is able to read and copy comparatively long DNA genomes.”

After this great success, the team is planning to build an “enveloped system” that not only reproduces but can also consume nutrition and dispose of waste, like a living cell.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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