Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered a way to create “DNA from the air” by injecting live bacteria and yeast into the air.
The team, led by researchers from King’s College London, reported the discovery at the International Conference on Biological Control in London.
The researchers were inspired to create this way of DNA storage after the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis was discovered to have a genetic material similar to human DNA.
This was a new step in the search for a new method of DNA extraction and storage, they say.
Bacillus Thuringienses can be used to create DNA for the treatment of disease, and was first isolated in 2009.
The bacterial DNA has also been used in bio-printing and gene therapy research.
“This is a promising method for DNA storage,” said co-author Andrew White from the Institute of Biology and Biomedical Engineering at King’s.
“It is one of the few methods we have seen that can produce DNA from the atmosphere and that we have a good method to make.
We have not used this method before.”
The team first added a small amount of live bacteria to a small volume of water, using a technique called a gradient-fed cell culture.
They then added a few yeast cells to the mixture, adding a third of the water.
“They grew and thrived for three days,” said lead researcher Dr Matthew Jansson.
“We then added the bacteria to the air and allowed them to grow in the air for several days before they were added to the cell culture.”
After a short time, the researchers added the yeast cells back to the water and allowed the bacteria growth to continue.
The resulting cells were injected into the blood stream of a small rabbit, which was then studied.
They found that the bacteria produced DNA from air was stored within the cells, unlike DNA that was released from the cell.
“These results are exciting and provide new insight into how DNA can be created in the laboratory,” said Dr White.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The bacteria that we added were capable of producing a higher amount of DNA and we saw that it was stored in the cell as well. “
“A further improvement of the method is the use of different cell types for each sample, such as human and mouse. “
“One of the advantages of this technique is that we can make the cells out of a variety of cell types to be able to target different diseases or therapies,” said Jansson, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge. “
“In the future we may be able not only to create the DNA, but also the cells for these targeted therapies.””
One of the advantages of this technique is that we can make the cells out of a variety of cell types to be able to target different diseases or therapies,” said Jansson, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge.
“In the future we may be able not only to create the DNA, but also the cells for these targeted therapies.”