Volume 93 Issue 4 | p. 5 | News of The Week
Issue Date: January 26, 2015 | Web Date: January 22, 2015

Synthetic Biology Puts A Leash On GMOs

Synthetic Biology: Researchers create genetically engineered bacteria that depend on synthetic amino acids to survive so the microbes can’t escape the lab
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: synthetic amino acids, genetically modified organisms

By rewriting the DNA of Escherichia coli so that the bacterium requires a synthetic amino acid to produce its essential proteins, two research teams may have paved the way to ensuring that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) don’t escape into the environment. The life-or-death dependence of the newly engineered E. coli on synthetic amino acids makes it astronomically difficult for the GMO to survive outside the laboratory, explains Harvard Medical School’s George . . .

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