Scientists downsize bold plan to make human genome from scratch

Source: Nature

A bold plan to synthesize an entire human genome has been scaled back, aiming at a more technically attainable near-term goal. Instead of synthesizing all of the human genome’s 3 billion DNA base pairs, the project will now attempt to recode the genome to produce cells immune to viral infection.

Organizers of Genome Project–Write (GP-write), a global public–private partnership that includes around 200 scientists, announced the priority shift at a meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 May.

But even the downsized ambitions might be difficult to achieve soon, because the two-year-old effort still has no dedicated funding for what’s estimated to cost tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and last a decade or more.