Artificial human chromosomes created for the first time

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 12 April 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1065
  1. Deborah Josefson
  1. Connecticut

    Researchers in Ohio have created the first artificial human chromosome (Nature Genetics 1997;15:345-55). The experiment heralds a new era in gene therapy.

    Synthetic chromosomes, if functional, could replace the current technology of virally mediated gene transfer. Viruses, though good at sneaking into cells, have a small carrying capacity, which limits the number of genes that they can hold. Additionally, they have oncogenic and cytopathic potential and as foreigners can elicit an immune attack. Artificial chromosomes could circumvent these problems and provide a stable platform on which to …

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