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Stripped-down Synthetic Organism Sheds Light on Nature of Life

Scientists announced Thursday the creation of a synthetic organism stripped down to the bare essentials with the fewest genes needed to survive and multiply, a feat at the microscopic level that may provide big insights on the very nature of life. Genome research pioneer J. Craig Venter called the bacterial cell his research team designed and constructed the "most simple of all organisms." While the human genome possesses more than 20,000 genes, the new organism gets by with...

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