Money Still Missing as the Plan to Synthesize a Human Genome Takes Another Step Forward
May 9, 2017
(Science) – Tuesday morning, more than 200 biologists, businesspeople, and ethicists will converge on the New York Genome Center in New York City to jump-start what they hope will be biology’s next blockbuster: Genome Project-write (GP-write), a still-unfunded sequel to the Human Genome Project where instead of reading a human genome, scientists create one from scratch and incorporate it into cells for various research and medical purposes. For example, proponents suggest that they could design a synthetic genome to make human cells resistant to viral infections, radiation, and cancer. Those cells could be used immediately for industrial drug production. With additional genome tinkering to avoid rejection by the immune system, they could be used clinically as a universal stem cell therapy.