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A Step Closer to Designing New Organisms Friday, July 6, 2007

Posted by Henry in evolution, gene flow, genetic engineering, genetics, genome, horizontal gene transfer, moral issues, organisms, science, science experiment.
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Can humans one day achieve the unthinkable of “playing god” in designing and making new organisms to solve problems?

In this fascinating article, it is reported that scientists have been able to transfer an entire genome – not just a few genes – from one microbe to another, thus making the latter like the original donor.

It is known that in nature individual gene transfers occur. This takes in the forms of gene flow and horizontal gene transfer. The former is the mechanism of exchange of genes between populations, usually between the same species; and the latter is the process of transfer of genes between organisms that do not have hereditary relationship.

It follows that in genetic engineering, genes are transferred so that organisms can develop desired traits: