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Life is a byproduct of proteins interacting. Now scientists have figured out how to add brand new proteins into those processes.
Biologists at the University of Chicago showed an artificial intelligence system the genomes of thousands of organisms, from yeast to humans. From those, the AI program deduced the rules by which proteins are assembled from basic biochemicals.
The researchers then used their new rulebook to figure out how to build their own versions of chorismate mutase enzymes, which are key in producing proteins’ amino acid building blocks.
They found the rulebook was right: they synthesized genes to make the proteins the computer designed, inserted them into bacteria, and watched the synthetic genes produce the same compounds their natural counterparts did.
The rules for making proteins are relatively few and simple, the scientists said, making it possible for humans to create vast arrays of conventional as well as novel proteins.
TRENDPOST: The ability to design proteins that carry out specific functions gives scientists the power to eventually fashion new organisms or modify conventional ones to function in entirely new ways.
by Bennett Daviss

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