Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Yale and Harvard Researchers Rewrite an Entire Genome

Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists recoded the entire genome of an organism and improved a bacterium’s ability to resist viruses.

“This is the first time the genetic code has been fundamentally changed,” said Farren Isaacs, assistant professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale and co-senior author of the research published Oct. 18 in the journal Science. “Creating an organism with a new genetic code has allowed us to expand the scope of biological function in a number of powerful ways.”

The creation of a genomically recoded organism raises the possibility that researchers might be able to retool nature and create potent new forms of proteins to accomplish a myriad purposes — from combating disease to generating new classes of materials.

The research — headed by Isaacs and co-author George Church of Harvard Medical School — is a product of years of studies in the emerging field of synthetic biology, which seeks to re-design natural biological systems for useful purposes.

In this case, the researchers changed fundamental rules of biology.

Proteins, which are encoded by DNA’s instructional manual and are made up of 20 amino acids, carry out many important functional roles in the cell. Amino acids are encoded by the full set of 64 triplet combinations of the four nucleic acids that comprise the backbone of DNA. These triplets (sets of three nucleotides) are called codons and are the genetic alphabet of life.

Isaacs, Jesse Rinehart of Yale, and the Harvard researchers explored whether they could expand upon nature’s handywork by substituting different codons or letters throughout the genome and then reintroducing entirely new letters to create amino acids not found in nature. This work marks the first time that the genetic code has been completely changed across an organism’s genome.

In the new study, the researchers working with E. coli swapped a codon and eliminated its natural stop sign that terminates protein production. The new genome enabled the bacteria to resist viral infection by limiting production of natural proteins used by viruses to infect cells. Isaacs — working with Marc Lajoie of Harvard, Alexis Rovner of Yale, and colleagues — then converted the “stop” codon into one that encodes new amino acids and inserted it into the genome in a plug-and-play fashion. 

The work now sets the stage to convert the recoded bacterium into a living foundry, capable of biomanufacturing new classes of  “exotic” proteins and polymers. These new molecules could lay the foundation for a new generation of materials, nanostructures, therapeutics, and drug delivery vehicles, Isaacs said.

“Since the genetic code is universal, it raises the prospect of recoding genomes of other organisms,” Isaacs said. “This has tremendous implications in the biotechnology industry and could open entirely new avenues of research and applications.”

Other participating researchers from Yale University are Hans Aerni and Adrian Haimovich.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Novel Technique for Kidney Research Developed
To better understand how the treatment leads to kidney damage, and possibly prevent it, a team of researchers at Yale School of Medicine developed a new 3D-imaging technique to peer deep into these vital organs.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Shedding Light On Century-Old Biochemical Mystery
Yale scientists have used magnetic resonance measurements to show how glucose is metabolized in yeast to answer the puzzle of the “Warburg Effect.”
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Gene Testing Now Allows Precision Medicine for Thoracic Aneurysms
Researchers at the Aortic Institute at Yale have tested the genomes of more than 100 patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms, a potentially lethal condition, and provided genetically personalized care.
Monday, July 20, 2015
Creating More Potent Vaccines
Yale researchers uncovered a new role for a type of immune cell, known as regulatory T cells, in promoting long-term immunity.
Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Yale Team finds why BRCA Gene Resists Cancer Treatment
The University researchers have discovered why a key molecular assistant is crucial to the function of the BRCA2 gene.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
New Type of Drug Can Target All Disease-causing Proteins
Current drugs block the actions of only about a quarter of known disease-causing proteins, but Yale University researchers have developed a technology capable of not just inhibiting, but destroying every protein it targets.
Monday, June 15, 2015
After a Sip of Milkshake, Genes and Brain Activity Predict Weight Gain
The new study published in The Journal Neuroscience.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Researchers Solve Multiple Sclerosis Puzzle
Yale study shows the role that T cells play in MS.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Gene Editing Corrects Mutation In Cystic Fibrosis
Yale researchers successfully corrected the most common mutation in the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, a lethal genetic disorder.
Monday, April 27, 2015
New Tool To Explore Mysteries Of The Immune System
Yale scientists use CyTOF to study a range of conditions.
Monday, April 20, 2015
A Faster, Less Expensive Way To Analyze Gene Activity
Yale researchers have devised a method that could reduce the time and cost of analyzing gene activity.
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Li Ka Shing Foundation Renews Support for Yale Stem Cell Center
New generous grant of $1.86 million from LKSF to support education and healthcare initiatives.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Single-Cell, 42-plexed Protein Analysis Achieved with a New Microchip Technology
A novel microdevice capable of detecting 42 unique immune effector proteins has been developed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Yale Team Identifies Key Process In Brain Development
miR-107 shown to play essential role in regulating normal brain development.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Cold Virus Replicates Better At Cooler Temperatures
Study shows that the immune response to rhinovirus is influenced by temperature.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Scientific News
Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Changing the Biological Data Visualisation World
Scientists at TGAC, alongside European partners, have created a cutting-edge, open source community for the life sciences.
NIH Study Finds Calorie Restriction Lowers Some Risk Factors for Age-Related Diseases
Two-year trial did not produce expected metabolic changes, but influenced other life span markers.
Immunotherapy Agent Benefits Patients with Drug-Resistant Multiple Myeloma in First Human Trial
Daratumumab proved generally safe in patients, even at the highest doses.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Inciting an Immune Attack On Cancer Cells
A new minimally invasive vaccine that combines cancer cells and immune-enhancing factors could be used clinically to launch a destructive attack on tumors.
‘Mutation-Tracking’ Blood Test for Breast Cancer
Scientists have developed a blood test for breast cancer able to identify which patients will suffer a relapse after treatment, months before tumours are visible on hospital scans.
Cellular Contamination Pathway for Heavy Elements Identified
Berkeley Lab scientists find that an iron-binding protein can transport actinides into cells.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Common ‘Heart Attack’ Blood Test May Predict Future Hypertension
Small rises in troponin levels may have value as markers for subclinical heart damage and high blood pressure.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!