Mycoplasma genitalium, the owner of the title ‘world’s smallest genome of any living organism’ at a measly 525 genes, made headlines this week as it was replicated by a computer.
Researchers at Stanford University created a computer model of the organism, basing it on over 900 scientific papers. The overall tally of experimentally determined parameters in the model was 1,900; those were split into 28 algorithms, which stepped in for certain biological processes.
Scientists hope that one day biologists can test hypotheses that wouldn’t normally be possible in the real world and expand the digitising technology used on the bacterium into larger creatures. But there’s a whole lot of genes between Mycoplasma genitalium and anything else.
The paper was originally published in the journal Cell.
Image is of Mycoplasma genitalium.