Synthetic yeast is on the rise.
Scientists have constructed five more yeast chromosomes from scratch. The new work, reported online March 9 in Science, brings researchers closer to completely lab-built yeast.
“We’re doing it primarily to learn a little more about how cells are wired,” says geneticist Jef Boeke of the New York University Langone Medical Center. But scientists might also be able to tinker with a synthetic yeast cell more efficiently than a natural one, allowing more precise engineering of everything from antiviral drugs to biofuels.