The Next Climate Change Calamity?: We’re Ruining the Microbiome, According to Human-Genome-Pioneer Craig Venter
In a new book (coauthored with Venter), a Vanity Fair contributor presents the oceanic evidence that human activity is altering the fabric of life on a microscopic scale.
“Despite reducing the sequence space of possible trajectories, we conclude that streamlining does not constrain fitness evolution and diversification of populations over time. Genome minimization may even create opportunities for evolutionary exploitation of essential genes, which are commonly observed to evolve more slowly.”
By watching “minimal” cells regain the fitness they lost, researchers are testing whether a genome can be too simple to evolve.
The “pangenome,” which collated genetic sequences from 47 people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, could greatly expand the reach of personalized medicine.
In a plenary public appearance at the Molecular and Precision Med TRI-CON event in San Diego, a relaxed Venter reflected on his career highlights, controversies and future priorities for genomic medicine.
What’s the smallest number of genes that cells need to grow and reproduce? Is it possible to synthesize minimal genomes and insert them into cells? What do minimal genomes teach us about life? An interview with John Glass, Ph.D.
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