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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Wondrous Bread of Life

(You rang?)
A Wonder Bread commercial used to boast that its loaves help build strong bodies 12 different ways.  These days, yeast alone may help to build entirely new bodies.

Deep within a laboratory at the Alexandria Center for Life Sciences in New York City, an odor of fresh-baked bread pervades the atmosphere.  The source of this fragrance is a “Wonder Bread” in its own right, for it may bring us one step closer to the origins of life.

An elixir of “yeast that works with chunks of man-made DNA” is what’s cooking in this lab.  Because the DNA code of yeast is simple enough to redesign, researchers are hoping to build “life forms from scratch.”  This could lead to new treatments for human diseases, or even to the creation of “entirely new organisms.”

If things go horribly wrong, they could end up with a Frankenstein monster.  If things go swimmingly well, they could end up with “plants that detect explosives at airports and shopping malls.”


Copyright August 1, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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