Saturday, December 20, 2008


ycoplasma laboratorium. As much as it pains me to give props to Craig Venter (when I was in graduate school, he was "the enemy"), this is too cool to pass up. M. laboratorium is the name of the organism that has been planned to be "created" as part of the Minimal Genome Project. M. laboratorium is actually M. genitalium with bits and pieces removed. Essentially, if it was considered (and proven by transposon mutagenesis) to be a "non-essential gene", it was excluded from the final "blueprint". Once they have the base template/blueprint, they will synthesize the genome and then pop it into a cell so it can "take off" on its own. Venter has even filed a patent on this idea, and they've published on their efforts as far back as 2006 in PNAS (PDF, 6 pages). So, while this organism doesn't actually even exist (as far as I know), I'm going to put it at the top of my "Merry Christmas" list.

Hopefully everyone has enjoyed this little "series". It was definitely not intended to be a full-fledged repository for these organisms. Instead I hope that it exposes (excuse the pun) people to some organisms that they may not have heard of before. Even better if people have contributed additional information in the comment fields.

At any rate, I hope everyone has a great holiday season!

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