Latest researches show that scientists can change DNA in bacteria. Since 2013, the genome of bacteria has been intensively studied. Latest studies have developed a self-destruct mechanism to prevent bacteria spread.
Scientists from Harvard University along with Yale doctors have implemented a new mechanism which locks down bacteria from spreading uncontrollably. This mechanism is to be placed into modified bacteria.
Scientists have been modifying bacteria for more than a decade. Now they have developed a new way to genetically modify bacteria for human’s advantages. They have created a genetic code that makes bacteria depend on a specific nutrient which cannot be found in nature. The nutrient has been artificially produced so that bacteria cannot feed with it unless it is in a protected environment. Since it cannot feed itself, bacterium will die.
The leading professor working on this project is George Church from Harvard Medical School. He and his team conducted an experiment where they let a GMO out of a controlled environment. This experiment was to test whether the new technique works.
The new self-destruct mechanism was successful. When bacterium reached the artificial amino acid, it died. The amino acid was quickly prepared in the laboratory.
This mechanism is only “the beginning to a beautiful friendship” between scientists and bacteria. Researchers have been searching for ways to modify bacteria’s DNA in order to gain different abilities. They have already designed microbes that generate drugs and biofuels. This means that bacteria can be of great help for the human kind.
Scientists’ new aim is to design controlled organisms. For example, when a waste spill needs to be cleaned up, bacteria will come in handy. In order to remain within the spill’s limitations, science people will have to create an internal leash. That way, microbes will only clean the specified area and then die, not spread.
Biotechnology seems to be the future in cleaning up the environment. Although biotech has only just begun, promising future lies ahead.
Another leading professor, Farren Isaacs representing molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale feels confident and optimist about the study’s results. He also claims that he and all researchers in this field are trying “to be a step ahead of any challenges” biohazard may bring.
The study led scientists to produce more than one trillion cells which are fed by synthesized amino acid. They try and change different genes, programming them according to the world’s needs. They claim to even programme the bacterium to produce whatever chemical is requested.
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