(Yicai Global) March 13 -- Jurassic Park will become a reality, scientists said after a new breakthrough in the chemical synthesis of brewer's yeast, or eukaryotic saccharomyces cerevisiae, chromosomes.
The project, attempting to create a complete synthetic yeast genome, undertaken by China, the US, Britain, France and other countries, has completed the redesign and synthesis of five of sixteen chromosomes, indicating that in the future, humans will be able to recreate new or extinct species.
Science, an academic journal, published four articles presenting the breakthroughs in the chemical synthesis of the genome made by scientists from Tsinghua University, Tianjin University and BGI.
"If synthesis of chromosomes is achievable, then synthesis of the entire genome will also be possible, making it possible to synthesize new or extinct species," said Chen Yelin, a researcher at the Biology and Chemical Crossing Research Center under the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry.
"Synthetic genes were successfully introduced into yeast cells and artificial strains exhibited a life activity similar to that of a wild cell," said Wang Jian, BGI chairman and founder. "This indicates the prospect of artificial synthesis in biological manufacturing, creating infinite possibilities in 'de-extinction' and perfectly reflecting the deposit, read and write functions of China National Genebank."
"Synthetic biology is an opportunity, but also a challenge," said Chen Li, a professor at Fudan University's Shanghai Medical College. "It may happen faster than we thought. In the next 10 or 20 years, people's lives may be completely changed."