That’s Right: Artificial Chromosome

Dan Vergano brings an astounding lede for National Geographic:

National GeographicIn a biological first, an international team has inserted a man-made chromosome into brewer’s yeast, producing a life form that thrives and successfully passes the designer genes on to its offspring.

The “synthetic” biology advance—the first synthesis of a working artificial chromosome in an organism more complex than a bacterium—opens the door wider to man-made microbes that may someday be designed to manufacture better fuels, food, and medicines.

“We can shuffle genes into these chromosomes like a deck of cards,” says Jef Boeke of the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Institute for System Genetics, who led the study reported in the journal Science.