Smallest self replicating organism

Rich Cooper richcooper1 at mindspring.com
Sat Sep 1 18:50:15 EST 2001


Mary, your reference to
http://www.unc.edu/news/newsserv/research/hutch12999.htm
was very interesting.  One quote from that news item caught my attention:
"Further work will explain those functions and create a more exact number of
the minimal genes required to create life in the laboratory, the scientist
said. New organisms bearing only the fewest genes needed to survive could
have major commercial, social and ethical implications."

Suppose software existed to model Mycoplasma Genitalia (MG).  Suppose
it represented what is presently known about which genes produce which
proteins, and which proteins have what observable effect.  Given the life
cycle of an MG cell stored in a database, and simulation of the known
biochemical processes, would that software be useful?  If so, who would
use it, and what goals would they have for using it?

The quote indicates that people would like to design organisms that could
help
efficiently deliver drugs to the right places.  Would this kind of software
help
explore what genes to knock out, possible what other genes to put in?  Or is
this just not useful regardless of the pretty words?

Rich Cooper


> On 31 Aug 2001, Mary K. Kuhner wrote:
>
>    > Mycoplasma, and this is an understatement; one species seems to
>    > have 517 genes.
>
>
>
> OK, I am pretty sure this is considerably less than
> what I recall about methanococcus.
>
> Cheers,
>
>
>
> Dominic
>
> North 59 37' 30"
> East  17 48' 10"
>
> ---
>
>






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