Prelude to Synthetic Life Forms

Patentfox views this application as groundbreaking. The application discloses the synthesis of a minimal genome and the transfer of same into a host so as to create a new life form. The invention portends the use of engineered microorganisms for energy production and the sequestering of carbon dioxide. This application relates specifically to the identification of non-essential genes of bacteria, and of a minimal gene set required to support the viability of a free-living organism. By a “minimal gene set” is meant the minimal set of genes whose expression allows the viability (e.g., survival, growth, replication, proliferation, etc.) of a free-living organism. One consequence of progress in the field of synthetic biology is an emerging view of cells as assemblages of parts that can be put together to produce an organism with a desired phenotype. Disclosed in this application is a minimalist form of Mycoplasma genitalium wherein the set of protein-coding genes is smaller than the complete complement of genes found in natural Mycoplasma genitalium (482 genes), the smallest known set of naturally occurring genes in a free-living organism. One aspect of the invention is a minimal set of protein-coding genes that provides the information required for replication of a free-living organism. The genes in a set of the invention may constitute a chromosome or synthetic chromosome. Another claimed aspect of the invention is a method of hydrogen or ethanol production, comprising growing a free-living organism of the invention that comprises at least one gene involved in hydrogen or ethanol production, in a suitable medium such that hydrogen or ethanol is produced.

Background information on some of the basic technology addressed or referred to in this application is available from Wikipedia. Additional information and observations may be obtained at TEDTalks.

PatentFox Report No.: 2826
File size: 1 pdf file(s) totaling 2,808kb and about 76 pages.
Price: $25.00 USD

This entry was posted in Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Green Energy. Bookmark the permalink.