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Building the Ultimate Yeast Genome

Liz is a staff writer for Science.

Although Jef Boeke first scoffed at the idea of building an artificial chromosome for yeast, he and his colleagues eventually decided to tackle what at the time was a very daunting task. They spent more than a year figuring out what DNA they should remove to make the new chromosome more stable and what DNA to add to be able to mutate it at will. They started with just the 90,000-base arm of one chromosome and when that worked, began remaking chromosome 3. Now, with the help of partners from around the world, the New York University geneticist has set his sights on the whole genome.

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