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you synthesized and optimized the synthesis of rhEPO. 1) Once rhEPO is synthesized in the lab, how is this recombinant molecule used or administered to patients in hospitals (pills, intravenous…) in order to reach their target organ? What doses are normally used? 2) Describe the mechanism by which rhEPO induces the production of red blood cells in patients with Chronic Kidney disease.


Watch this video of Dr. Floyde Romesberg:

Dr. Floyde Romesberg describes that one of the first challenges he faced when creating the novel genetic code of the synthetic organism was to find two new bases that will pair with each other with the same or similar energy as A to T or C to G. They tested more than 300 bases to find two that would pair well and in a stable way in the double DNA helix. But this is just the first challenge they faced! As you know, this is just the beginning of a chain of events that will lead to the synthesis of a peptide.

Mention and describe all the new molecules and molecular machinery that these researchers may need to develop in order to make functional cells that synthesize a new amino acid coded by the new codon XTY. You can start with transcription and end with translation.


Expected length, at least 200 words



These researchers have created a new form of life. For the first time in evolution, from bacteria to dinosaurs, a living organism has a different genetic code and is based on 6 bases (A, T, C, G, X, Y) rather than the usual 4 bases (A, T, C, G). This may seem controversial. Dr. Romesberg said in

at 3:30

, “Many interpreted life as being perfect, and this was taken as an evidence of a creator”; but he also follows commenting in a more scientific approach about organisms and their DNA: “ …evolution has been optimizing them for billions of years”. He also follows up on this same topic

starting at 12:25

of the video.

As a future science professional, what is your point of view on this? Would you allow this type of research under your watch? Are organisms already perfect and do you believe that there is no need to “improve” them? It seems that these discoveries are expanding the function of cells and the way new drugs will be synthesized and delivered into specific organs. Therefore, with their help we may cure cancer and other diseases in the future. Are we playing god or are we just developing new ways of overcoming our illnesses? Do you have any concerns about moving forward with a discovery such as this one? If so, what are your concerns?


Expected length, at least 200 words



If you would had the chance to ask a question to Dr. Romesberg about his research, what would you ask?

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