Smallest self replicating organism

Des Higgins fatherdes at eircom.net
Mon Sep 3 17:27:53 EST 2001


"Rich Cooper" <richcooper1 at mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:9n0ho7$msl$1 at mercury.hgmp.mrc.ac.uk...
> 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?

A real software model of any organism would be enormously useful and
everyone would use it.  The problem tends to be that it is extremely
difficult to simulate even a small part of what really happens inside a
cell.   We are no where near being able to make even a crude model of M.g.

Des Higgins

>
> 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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