ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

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8, Mar 2021

DNA technology rewriting our understanding of life

We are witnessing an evolutionary transition of  “similar magnitude” to events of billions of years ago, says the Centre’s Professor Michael Gillings in this fascinating interview with Faculti

Advances in molecular biology have developed to the point that large amounts of DNA can be converted to computer code and stored in data banks accessible in perpetuity.

“For 3.8 billion years, information has flowed from DNA to RNA to protein to phenotype- what organisms look like,” explains Professor Gillings.

“That is called the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology – how life works.

“We have now added an extra layer, which is storing information in digital form. And we have the potential to resynthesise that at any location sometime in the future.

“That represents a significant transition and has extended the Central Dogma.”

Professor Gillings says it will become increasingly possible to reconstruct genomes by chemical synthesis.