Scientists for the first time reprogrammed cells for the production of synthetic polymers, which simply cannot consider the virus gene and therefore remain invulnerable. This achievement will make the development of certain vaccines and drugs, including insulin, cheaper and more reliable. Also scientists plan to apply the technology for the development of biodegradable plastics.
Researchers from the UK created the first cells that can produce artificial polymers from building blocks that are absent in nature,
The experiments also showed that the synthetic genome makes bacteria completely resistant to infection with viruses.
For example, if a virus enters bacteria in the production of the drug, it can destroy the entire batch of medication. Modified bacterial cells are not subject to this, since they cannot be considered the genome of the virus.
Scientists have achieved this by simplifying the genome of the intestinal stick. They replaced some codons — combinations of three types of nucleotides, however, they retained other necessary instructions in the genome for the normal production of proteins and reproduction. So, they removed all instances of TCG and TCA codons and replaced them with AGC and AGT synonyms. The term «synonym» means that the codon encodes the same amino acid.
These changes are fatal for any virus, which, when infected, introduces its gene gene into a cell, explains scientists. Modified cells lose the ability to read genetic information and thereby simply not «open doors» for the pathogen.
In addition to synthetic insulin, some vaccines and antibiotics scientists plan to create new polymers with their help, including biodegradable.
Earlier, the international group of researchers
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