Scientists are now able to take the genetic material from one bacterial species and transfer it to another, basically swapping their Genomes. The implications for synthetic custom - built bugs is astonishing.
The experiment marks the attempt to re-engineer a living cell with a view to one day developing micro-organisms that were different than how nature designed them. Some could be used for biofuels, cleaning up toxic waste, sequestering carbon or other applications.
Transplanting the entire genome from one species to another and having it work is the equivalent of taking a MacIntosh computer and making it a PC by inserting a new piece of software.
For the first time it is possible to insert an intact genome into a host organism and have that second organism express the original-foreign DNA.
But what is next? To create a synthetic genome and then transplant that one into a host organism.
From an evolutionary perspective, it would indicate that if man could do something like this, it would be possible for it to also occur in nature. In other words, the variation that we see in nature, may have come about with the co-mingling of genomes from different species.