Even Synthetic Life Forms With a Tiny Genome Can Evolve

Seven years ago, researchers showed that they could strip cells down to their barest fundamentals, creating a life form with the smallest genome that still allowed it to grow and divide in the lab. But in shedding half its genetic load, that “minimal” cell also lost some of the hardiness and adaptability that natural life evolved over billions of years. That left biologists wondering whether the...


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