Towards Synthesis of a Minimal Cell

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Towards Synthesis of a Minimal Cell

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Title: Towards Synthesis of a Minimal Cell
Author: Forster, Anthony C; Church, George McDonald

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Forster, Anthony C, and George M Church. 2006. Towards synthesis of a minimal cell. Molecular Systems Biology 2: 45.
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Abstract: Construction of a chemical system capable of replication and evolution, fed only by small molecule nutrients, is now conceivable. This could be achieved by stepwise integration of decades of work on the reconstitution of DNA, RNA and protein syntheses from pure components. Such a minimal cell project would initially define the components sufficient for each subsystem, allow detailed kinetic analyses and lead to improved in vitro methods for synthesis of biopolymers, therapeutics and biosensors. Completion would yield a functionally and structurally understood self-replicating biosystem. Safety concerns for synthetic life will be alleviated by extreme dependence on elaborate laboratory reagents and conditions for viability. Our proposed minimal genome is 113 kbp long and contains 151 genes. We detail building blocks already in place and major hurdles to overcome for completion.
Published Version: doi://10.1038/msb4100090
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