After a fifteen year journey (during which he also decoded the human genome), Craig Venter's team successfully made a complete synthetic genome, transplanted it to a bacterial cell, and booted it up in the cell to produce a new species. The genome was designed on computers and created from four bottles of chemicals. Then, the chromosomes were assembled in yeast. One of the major obstacles was to boot up the genome in the bacterial cell, since the transplant chromosomes were rejected and destroyed by the recipient cells. Advances were made to remove restriction enzymes from recipient cells and insert chromosomes with methylated DNA in the cells.
Other problems in the project were debugging issues. Initially, the transplanted chromosomes did not support life because only one base pair was deleted. This led to the development of debugging programs that made the production of the life-supporting synthetic genome possible.
One interesting aspect of this genome is that it has watermarks embedded in it for identification. Using a specific code, the names of the authors and the website of the genome were spelled out in the genome.
This amazing breakthrough has vast implications. Firstly, it tells us about the basic recipes of life as well as the dynamic nature of it. It also provides technical advancements such as the production of vaccines and production of new and useful species, such as algae that can make oil out of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We can only begin to imagine what might come out of this astonishing revolution.