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October 12, 2010 / Martijn

Making a Genome Quickly from Scratch

A rapid DNA-synthesis technique has been used to synthesize a complete mitochondrial genome from scratch. The new method will be used to make vaccines rapidly by a startup company called Synthetic Genomics Vaccines.

The new technique allows biologists to assemble large pieces of DNA from designs edited on a computer more quickly than before. Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, used the method to make the entire genome of a cellular organelle called the mitochondria, a step that could lead to therapies for metabolic diseases. Synthetic Genomics is partnering with pharmaceutical giant Novartis to speed the development of influenza vaccines using the approach.

via Technology Review: Making a Genome Quickly from Scratch.

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