DNA is an amazingly efficient memory bank for the design and scheduling of biological development. Cell DNA have their own replication systems, but human scientists who want to interfere with the content of the genome have been working to find ways to achieve artificial replication and synthesis of disparate properties, and now they may have achieved a landmark breakthrough.
The new process capitalizes on innovations in genome sequencing (reading DNA). Automated genome sequencing allowed for great leaps forward in the processing of daunting amounts of genetic code, and the eventual sequencing (mapping) of the entire human genome. Decoding the information contained in that map of human genetics was possible only because automation had allowed for a rational amount of time spent to sequence any particular strand.
Now, Harris Wang, a biophysicist from Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and George Church, have co-authored a study, published in this Sunday’s edition of the journal Nature, in which they explain how automated merging of biological DNA and synthetic re-ordered DNA can allow for an automated replication process in which the engineering of whole new genomes piggybacks on the already existing natural process of cell division.