Нераскрытая тайна строительных блоков жизни

ГАРРИСОН (ШТАТ НЬЮ-ЙОРК) – Представьте на мгновение, что вы наткнулись на клад замечательных устройств, оставленных древней цивилизацией. У этих загадочных инструментов разный размер и уровень сложности, но все они обладают удивительными свойствами.

Если вы хотите понять, как они работают, имеет смысл начать с наиболее простого и маленького устройства, а затем систематически отламывать от него кусочки до тех пор, пока он не перестанет работать. Всё, что не является важным, уйдёт, а у вас останутся только те компоненты, которые необходимы для выполнения устройством базовых функций. Как только вы поймёте, что именно делает каждая из этих частей, вы найдёте свой ответ.

Таким примерно был исследовательский путь, по которому американский биоинженер Джей Крейг Вентер со своими коллегами шёл на протяжении последних двух десятилетий. Только их чудесные устройства – это не археологические находки, а живые организмы. А части, назначение которых они пытаются понять, это гены, которые у нас являются общими со всеми другими формами автономной, репродуктивной жизни.

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