Scientists have moved a step closer to a goal of synthetic genomics by succesfully performaing a full gene swap from one bacteria to another.
Among other things, the project hopes to one day produce artificial organisms that will help to create clean fules, but the technique could open new avenues of research.
The two simple bacteria involved in the experiment are related versions of the Mycoplasma microbe and scientists transplanted one set of genomes into the other cell in a single operation.
In at least some instances, the swop was successful and the recipient bacterium immediatley starting behaving the like donor.
The field of synthetic genomics aims to build new organisms that work in ways totally different from those intended by nature.
In the long run, artificially-created chromosomes could be transplanted into living cells.