Genome Design

genome_design_1A vision of the center is to be able to design and program complete genomes. Recently, work out of the Venter Institute demonstrated that it is possible to reconstruct a complete bacterial genome using chemical DNA synthesis, transplant it into a host chassis, and have the new genome “boot up.” The Church lab at Harvard has developed a method called MAGE to iteratively replace the genome of a cell with a synthetic version. Whole genome design requires the convergence of multiple technologies from synthetic biology, including reliable and characterized genetic parts, synthetic regulation and genetic circuits, computer aided design, and DNA synthesis.