Synthetic Biology...
      i.e., the artificial creation of DNA, genes, viri, and cells that mimic, or surpass, natural systems.
   1. Synthetic Polio Virus - July 12 ,2002 : Molecular Origin of Life Research or Bioterrorism?  
E. Wimmer from the University of New York at Stony Brook used the poliovirus' widely known genetic
to synthesize the virus from shelf chemicals.
They followed a recipe they downloaded from
        the internet
and used gene sequences from a mail-order supplier. The artificially constructed virus
        appears identical to its natural counterpart; when injected it into mice the animals were paralyzed and died.
   2. Phi X-174 virus synthesized - November 2003 :  Craig Venter and colleagues created an artificial
        version of
Phi X-174 by piecing together synthetic DNA ordered from a biotechnology company.
        They used a technique called polymerase cycle assembly (PCA) to link the strands of DNA together. 
   3. The 1918 Spanish Flu Virus is Reconstructed - October 2005 : Jeffery K. Taubenberger, a molecular
        pathologist at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and his colleagues were able to piece together the
        virus's genes from two unusual sources: 1) lung tissue removed at autopsy from  a 21-year-old soldier and
the frozen body of an Inuit woman who died of influenza in November 1918 and was buried in the Alaskan
        permafrost. These sources provided intact pieces of viral RNA that could be analysed and sequenced. The
        virus's has eight "RNA gene segments" and by gene sequencing and PCR they reassembled the virus.
        of the 8 genes:
Hemagglutinin-A type [H5] and Neuraminidase type 1 [N1] are protein surface coatings.
        There are at least 16 different HA antigens, which binds the virus to the host cell.  Neuraminidase is an
        antigenic glycoprotein enzyme found on the surface of the flu virus. Nine neuraminidase subtypes are
        known, which aid in the efficiency of virus release from infected cells.
      Mycoplasma genitalium, a gram-positive parasitic bacterium, has 517 genes (480 encoding
 for proteins
), only 265350 of them are essential to life. Can we assemble these 300?