US scientists make safe GMO

US scientists have taken the first step towards making safe genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) by using synthetic biology so they cannot spread in the wild.

Using synthetic biology, scientists have re-written the genetic code of bacteria by using synthetic chemicals to grow them. In this case, scientists have engineered organisms so that they require synthetic amino acids for survival or for life.

Key characteristic of these GM bacteria is that they die if escaped into nature as they fed synthetic amino acids for survival.

Implication of this research

  • Currently, genetically engineered micro-organisms are used in Europe, the US and China to produce drugs or fuels under contained industrial conditions.
  • With this GMOs scientist can build safety measures so that their spread could be controlled and can be used in the outside world.

Now the future challenge is to re-engineer the code of other lifeforms.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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