December 13, 2007
Students Compete Internationally to Build Biological Organisms From Standard Parts
Austin L. Day, a senior at the University of California at Berkeley, holds up an IV bag filled with a brown-red liquid resembling bloody-mary mix. The unsavory concoction is Berkeley's entry in a genetic-engineering competition—a blood substitute called "Bactoblood," made from modified bacteria.
Spurred by the worldwide shortage of human blood for transfusions, the Berkeley team developed a synthetic version by tinkering with the DNA of a common bacterium, E. coli. The