US scientists create synthetic living cell

US scientists from the J Craig Venter Institute in Maryland have announced they have created the world's first synthetic living cell.

According to Dr Craig Venter who led the Maryland-based research team, it is for the first time that synthetic DNA has been in complete control of a cell.

He adds that the first self-replication synthetic bacterial cell could unlock infinite possibilities in diverse areas from new fuels to vaccines.

He said it would be wonderful to have something that actually blocked common colds or more importantly HIV where the virus current vaccines fail to keep with the rapid evolutionary changes the virus undergoes.

Venter said the creation of the synthetic cell began on a computer. He said his team assembled it and transplanted it into a recipient cell converting that to a new species.

"We built the DNA chromosome from scratch from four bottles of chemicals, chromosomes over 1 million letters long. We did the final assembly in yeast that people are familiar with [from] making beer and bread," he says.