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Science: Advances in Cellular Biology

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Adam Shafeek

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Science: Advances in Cellular Biology

Cellular Biology Synthetic cells Intro:

Imagine being able to control the characteristics of cell, being able to personalize your own cells. Leading to the use of BUT WHAT IS IT? Synthetic Cell The synthetic cell is basically described as a normal bacterium with a human-made genome. This genome has its chromosomes synthesized, rebooted and re-inserted.
The first synthetic cell was unveiled in 2010 by John Craig Venter and his team, ending off a 15-year quest, moving us a step closer to artificial life that has been both praised and scrutinized.
Even though a small part of the cell is synthetic, it is still pivotal since it contains hereditary information that controls a lot of the cell's structure and function. What led to this? The creators of the first synthetic cell, Craig Venter and his team started at a new point by digitizing biology and now using the digital code to design and synthesize life.
They tried various approaches, including tearing it down into its minimal components, digitizing it for approx. 20 years and sequencing (ordering the nucleotide bases in a DNA molecule) the human genome. In short, they were transferring from the analog world of biology into the digital world of the computer.
At this point, they were questioning the idea of regenerating or recreating new life out of the digital universe.
It is, however, after viewing the map of the “microplasmic genitaliam”, that has the smallest genome for species that can self-replicate, Ventor and his team were curious if they can come up with an even smaller genome. J. Craig Venter was credited and well-known for the first person to successfully create a synthetic cell What is Synthesis and Why Opt to it? Synthesis in a biochemistry sense is the production of an organic compound in a living thing, especially as aided by enzymes.
The scientists at first chose the path of eliminating genes in order to create a smaller genome.
They were able to eliminate 100 genes out of the 500 genes presented but this lead to the unlikeliness of the genomes to yield a living cell.
So the only way to achieve this project was to synthesize the chromosomes, which has never been attempted before.
Not only has synthesis proved its part in assisting the creation of a smaller genome, synthesis also allows the scientists to vary their components, which can help them learn more about the hidden secrets of chromosomes. Issues with synthetic biology J Craig Venter and his team need to find ways to make this process more efficient because the process takes a considerably long time.
It took 15 years for the process to be completed
They would need to create technology to help with the process, make it easier to create genome etc.
The Genome is far from perfect it still needs to be tweaked
The methods and technology also needs to be perfected knowing that:
DNA poses a difficult task to implant in cell on created.
DNA proves to be hard to boot up once placed in cell This presentation is created to inform and educate interested individuals all about the synthetic cell: its origin, its presence and its effects on the future. So let's get started by learning... However, Synthesis proven to be very difficult - The current machines can only make small pieces of DNA about 30-50 letters and it is a degenerate process, meaning the longer the sequences, the more likely an error will form. Therefore, in order for Ventor and his team to speed up this process, they created new methods for putting the pieces together and correct all the errors.

- At their first attempt, they put digital information of a virus (5000 letters long) and put it in bacteria. The bacteria read the genetic code, made the viral particles, which in turn killed the bacteria. (Situation in which the software built its own hardware in a biological sense).

-The scientists decided to go bigger, by creating the entire bacterial chromosome (could be up to 580 000 letters of biologic code); this is done by creating several sets of 50 letters to overlap other 50 letters sets to form subunits, which also has designs to form together, including the use of watermarks.

- With the assistance of yeast, the team has started by assembling pieces into groups made up of 5000-7000 letters, which is then put together to make 24000 letter pieces, which is then put together to make 72000 letter pieces and so on. These pieces were grouped in abundance so it can be sequenced to create a process that is extremely robust.

- At this point, the team is ready to boot up the chromosomes. The Beginning: A Challenging Process ♥ - The team has shown that they can proceed with a complete transplant of a the new chromosome from one species to another and activating it.

- It has been purified by methylation, the mixing of methanol, which prevents the bacterium's nuclei creating orders to eliminate it, added a few extra genes for selection, and digested with enzymes to kill the proteins.

- Then it is transplanted into the bacteria, which is a perfect example of horizontal gene transfer, a type of evolution.

-When the new chromosome was inserted in the cell, the prosthetic chromosome has restriction enzymes which digest the foreign DNA (which is originally in the bacterium), ending up with the cell only with the new chromosome. Though this idea may seem far-fetched, the ability to do such a task exists thanks to J. Craig Venter and his brilliant team. Due to their commitment and determination, they were able to create the very first synthetic cell. A phenomenon of this magnitude could revolutionize advancement in many areas, such as medical care, yet also includes threats that may be harmful in many ways. Although it may be small and unseen to the naked eye, this advance still leaves a large mark in science forever. Intro:

Imagine if you can have the chance to personalize your own cells. The Mid-Process: Closing on the Goal - For a very short period of time, all the characteristics of the bacterium, such as its proteins and membrane structures, have converted into the new species based on the software that has been written in the chromosome.

- The project is a success. The Ending Results Does it really have any purpose in real-life applications? - Absolutely!
- This ground-breaking unveiling can not only change the aspects of biology, but can also change the world for the better.
- Let's think about it by looking into the future. We are exponentially increasing as the population on earth is about to reach 9 billion at approx. the year 2050. At our current stage of advancements, we are still struggling to keep 6 billion people healthy, let alone 9 billion.
-But this can all change because of the synthetic cell. But do issues arise with the creation of the synthetic cell? -The scientists now have the ability and methods to make 1,000,000 chromosomes daily!- All it is really is standard selection, scientists could write up codes and select for viability, chemical or fuel production, non-stop vaccine production, etc.
- Venter and his team are also focusing on fourth generation fuels, working and experimenting cells that use carbon dioxide as its feeding source. They do this by capture carbon dioxide, pump it to the designated sites, and convert it into fuel to drive this process. - Other future uses of Synthetic and Engineered Species includes:

- Future of Evolutionary Diversity
- Increasing basic understanding of life
- Replacing petrol-chemical industry
- Becoming a major source of energy
- Enhancing bio-remediation
- Driving antibiotic and vaccine discovery and production Yes, Of course ! Issues do arise since some people do not feel that the creation and fiddling with cells should be done.
It raises issues with:
public safety
the creation process. Issues With Religion Religious leaders find the advancement is a very dangerous path to be working on.
It has been claimed that synthetic biology is alarmingly close to the "act of God".
Bishop Domenico Mogavero stated that pretending to be God and parroting His power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into barbarity.
The word 'create' causes them to come to this conclusion since of the power of religious views that the word evokes. So why do these issues matter? Survey : 'Create' vs 'Constructed' Framing This survey has questioned 100 people of different ethnicity and backgrounds
The surveyors randomly received one of two copies of a written synopsis of the synthetic biology; one copy used the word 'create' and the other copy used the word 'construct'
The results were as follows: " individuals presented with the 'create' description held a more negative perception of synthetic biology than individuals presented with the "construct" description." Safety issues A poll associated with Daily Mail Article An article had a poll asking the public the following question, "Should scientists be allowed to create synthetic life?" .
67 %of respondents to this article found that they opposed J. Craig Venter's work with synthetic cells
They described the synthetic cell as a, "second genesis" and quoted Venter saying he essentially "allowed a new creature to enter the world." Recommendation Safety becomes an issue because of how advanced this break- through is
If the information of the synthetic cell is put into the wrong hands or altered negatively, it would pose a terrible threat
An altering issue would be Bio-error; when a biological mistake overlooked by practitioners that result in the endangerment of humans
When it is put into the wrong hands, it would be called Bio-terror; a form of terrorism by using the weapons of biological warfare Synthetic Biology's impact on the Economy It would effect the economy because the process is very costly
To create the one synthetic cell it cost, over the 15 years, $30 million dollars.
If they were to continue the process, the money would increase the debt that the government already has.
A single error can be quite fatal/costly, "a single error in a million base pairs set the project back months" Jaleyen's Work Cited Life after the synthetic cell: Nature asked eight synthetic-biology experts about the implications for science and society of the "synthetic cell" made by the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). The institute's team assembled, modified and implanted a synthesized genome into a DNA-free bacterial shell to make a self-replicating Mycoplasma mycoides. (2010). Nature, 465(7297), 422+.http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA228122018&v=2.1&u=ko_pl_portal&it=r&p=EAIM&sw=w Venter, J. C., & Team, . (2010, July 2). Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. In Science Magazine: Journals. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/329/5987/52.full Venter, J. C. (Actor). Venter, J. C. (Narrator). (2008). On the verge of synthetic life [Online video]. Ted Talks. Retrieved September 27, 2012, from http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_is_on_the_verge_of_creating_synthetic_life.html Venter, J. C. (Actor). Venter, J. C. (Narrator). (2010). Venter unveils synthetic life [Online video]. Ted Talks. Retrieved September 24, 2012 Conclusion:

Though there may be a considerable amount of negative perspective on the synthetic cells, it does have great results that can change our lives. One day, we as society will overcome such obstacles and reap the rewards that lie behind it. The End Society directly influences synthetic biology, much like any other technology.
Scientists need the support of society to be able to continue research and development
If concerns of the people, society, are not meet then they will not be allowed to continue with there research or procedures
Funding will not come if you ignore concerns of society like:
tampering with religion
putting safety on thin ice
"The actions of scientists determine the level of public support, and scientists, corporations, and society at large must collaborate and address obstacles at the heart of communication," However, like in many great scenarios, there is always a catch. One situation is time. To create just one synthetic cell took 15 years; imagine how long it will take to create thousands more. Though the team stated that they were planning on technology to create many chromosomes at a fast pace, it still does not ease the mind as we know errors are likely to occur during this approach. Also where will the funding come from in order to make this project more of a reality? The answer is the government and may include tax money. Note that it took $30 million dollars to create the ONE-cell organism. Let us not ignore the fact that even the simplest forms of life have unpredictable properties. When releasing these cells out to the public, there are chances that changes in DNA sequences can change, such as mutations. Due to their unpredictability, it presents a problem for the current engineering method, which should be developed and perfected; which would take up time and money. This will most likely take more time and funding to proceed. When scientists plan on creating new species following the synthetic route, there can be environmental issues, such as competition and most likely overcoming natural organisms. Due to Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, when the synthetic organism competes for food and mates, it is most likely to be selected for due to desired traits that humans picked. This would likely lead to a greater population of this prosthetic organism and could lead to the extinction of the nature-born organisms. Another factor we must avoid are both bio-error and bio-terror scenarios. To prevent bio error, we need licensing and surveillance handled by computers, while sensitively detecting deviations from normal practice and smoothly integrating new risk scenarios. To prevent bio terror, we need realistic lab ecosystems that should be standardized to test the ability of new synthetic genomes to persist or exchange genes in the wild. Those people may question the likelihood of these scenarios, it is certainly a possibility. Everyone is human and have that chance to make a mistake, even if it is a great human risk. Also, the power of countries are at stake and using biological warfare is a no-brainer since all they need to do is create codes for destruction. To prevent these, more money and funding will be needed. It could cause societal questions, such as revitalizing questions about the significance of life: What it is, why it is important, and what roles humans should have in its future. The creation of the synthetic cell is ground breaking! It application in our world will be endless, and it may as well be a superhero. It abilities allow it to be altered to anything we want, and specific trait we want. It will be a fighter, when all else fails, that fights the destructive and murderous diseases and viruses in our body, that we have to fight every day. It will multiply to create an army and eventually a barrier to keep out the disease it was constructed to fight against without complaints. It will track, for example, tumors and fight against it or at least assist in the process of removing it. J Craig Venter has joined with Novartis to create vaccines for the issues in medical we have. It will eventually create a world that will be disease free or at least close to it. It will move beyond the environment of the body, out into the open world, where it could do tasks that will make life much better. Tasks such as decontaminating toxic waste, making our environment safer to live in, and creating less need for waste yards that keep toxic products. It will move also into things like fuel. It will help create better fuels, biofuels, which are apparently slowly depleting. In fact J Craig Venter, the creator of the synthetic cell, has already begun to collaborate with Exxon Mobil to produce a biofuel from algae using synthetic cells.
But what it mostly will do is something so simple. It will help us learn more about cells. Although it may seem like the made a new cell, it not like they made it from scratch, they made it using other cells; the only thing created from scratch is the genome. So now that the possibility to tamper with a cell is possible, it could help us learn so much. It can help us understand further the make-up and functions of the different organelles contained in the cell membrane. It will help develop a much larger understanding of all thing biology. The synthetic cell is the master key to the doors that the answers to our questions lie. Adam's Work Cited Baker, M. (2011). The next step for the synthetic genome: biologists have copied an existing genetic code, but haven't yet commercialized it or written their own. What will it take for a tour de force to reach industrial force? Nature, 473(7347), 403+. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com:80/ic/scic/AcademicJournalsDetailsPage/AcademicJournalsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Journals&disableHighlighting=false&prodId=SCIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CA257435080&userGroupName=ko_pl_portal&jsid=4c6cbc7cdc7e65c7ee84326a88f717a9 Bye-Nagel, K., Campbell, A. M., Heyer, L. J., Pearson, B., Snell, S., & Tonidandel, S. (2011). Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology. Journal of Biological Engineering, 5, 9. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com:80/ic/scic/AcademicJournalsDetailsPage/AcademicJournalsDetailsWindow?displayGroupName=Journals&disableHighlighting=false&prodId=SCIC&action=2&catId=&documentId=GALE%7CA263141536&userGroupName=ko_pl_portal&jsid=de41edfc200d53d7aa6cee04f5f51021 Callaway, E. (2010, May 20). Immaculate creation: birth of the first synthetic cell - life - 20 May 2010 - New Scientist.Science news and science jobs from New Scientist - New Scientist. Retrieved September 30, 2012, from http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18942-immaculate-creation-birth-of-the-first-synthetic-cell.html Venter, J. C. (Actor). Venter, J. C. (Narrator). (2008). On the verge of synthetic life [Online video]. Ted Talks Retrieved September 27, 2012, from http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_is_on_the_verge_of_creating_synthetic_life.html Thanks for listening our Prezintation
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