Scientists on Thursday formally announced the start of a 10-year project aimed at vastly improving the ability to chemically manufacture DNA, with one of the goals being to synthetically create an entire human genome.
Plans for the project, which leaked last month, have already set off an ethical debate, because the ability to chemically fabricate the complete set of human chromosomes could theoretically allow the creation of babies without biological parents.
Some critics also objected to the secrecy surrounding a meeting to discuss the project at Harvard Medical School in May. The organizers said they avoided publicity so as to not jeopardize publication of the proposal in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The publication occurred on Thursday by the journal Science.
The authors of the proposal said that the ability to fabricate huge stretches of DNA would allow for numerous scientific and medical advances. It might be possible to make organisms resistant to all viruses, for instance, or make pig organs suitable for transplant into people.
The project, which will be run by a new nonprofit organization called the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology, will seek to raise $100 million this year from various public and private sources. Organizers declined to state the ultimate cost of the project, though it could conceivably exceed $1 billion.
The Latest on: HGP-Write
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The Latest on: HGP-Write
- What does DNA stand for? on March 11, 2018 at 8:03 am
In June 2016, DNA scientists announced HGP-Write, a plan to synthesise the human genome (as in, create genes) by studying the genomes of microbes, plants and animals. If successful this will have huge ... […]
- The Human Operating System Gets an Overhaul on February 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm
By the way, you guys started out as Human Genome Project-write — HGP-write — and now it’s just GP-write. Was “human” just too controversial? There are some people that think this is going to be toxic, ... […]
- Biotech’s Next Big Catalyst Could Be Synthetic DNA on February 14, 2017 at 1:21 am
The Human Genome Project-write (HGP-write), as the name implies, will attempt to synthetically write human DNA code. The idea is that writing and understanding genetic code made from scratch will help ... […]
- Creating human genomes and synthetic people, destroying entire species with gene drives on June 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm
THE ORIGINS OF HGP-WRITE HGP-write had its genesis last summer, according to Kelly Servick at Science, when futurist Andrew Hessel made what one scientist called "'this impassioned speech' for a new h... […]
- Creating human genomes and synthetic people; destroying entire species with gene drives on June 9, 2016 at 8:06 pm
HGP-write had its genesis last summer, according to Kelly Servick at Science, when futurist Andrew Hessel made what one scientist called “‘this impassioned speech’ for a new human genome project that ... […]
- American Scientists Want to Manufacture Synthetic Human Genomes on June 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm
As argued in the paper written by 26 prominent geneticists, HGP-Write is the logical continuation of the Human Genome Project, which successfully sequenced 99.9 percent of all the DNA humans have in c... […]
- The Brave New World of the Synthetic Human Genome on June 3, 2016 at 9:58 am
Last month there were alarming news reports of a “secret meeting” where scientists discussed plans to create a synthetic human genome. These plans have now been confirmed, and the project has been dub... […]
- The Genome Project–Write on June 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm
To this end, we propose the Human Genome Project–Write (HGP-write). We will enable broad public discourse on HGP-write; having such conversations well in advance of project implementation will guide e... […]
- Spotlight: Scientists propose ambitious project to synthesize human genome on June 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Called Human Genome Project-Write (HGP-write), the proposal by genome research pioneers such as Jef Boeke and George Church was first revealed two weeks ago, when a "secret" meeting at Harvard Univers... […]
- The Next Genetics Moonshot: Building a Human Genome from Scratch on June 2, 2016 at 11:34 am
Similarly, by rallying synthetic biologists around the ambitious goal of synthesizing a complete human genome, Boeke says HGP-Write will spur innovation in DNA manufacturing techniques. “With better t... […]
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