November 20, 2003
"Replicating microbes could help clean up air pollutants and produce natural fuels."
Scientists have created a synthetic version of a tiny, harmless virus in 14 days - a significant step toward the goal of creating tailor-made life forms to chew up pollutants or provide novel fuels. The work was conducted by a team at the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives, a Rockville, Md., research group headed by Craig Venter, one of the leading figures in the sequencing of the human genome.
The virus was made by synthesizing many short strings of DNA using the molecule's fundamental chemical building blocks, then pasting them together in the correct order, the scientists said Thursday.
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