Van Cutter Romney writes: "Craig Venter, the US genomics pioneer, announced that scientists at his laboratories had succeeded in making the world's first "synthetic cells" of bacteria called Mycoplasma mycoides. He told reporters that the new species is similar to one found in nature, except that the chromosome that controls each cell was created from scratch. The new species started with researchers digitizing the genetic code for the new species, then assembling the nucleotides using "four bottles of chemicals" into sections of DNA. The DNA sections were assembled in yeast cells to form a synthetic chromosome, which was then transferred to a related species of bacteria, M. capricolum. After 30 cell divisions, there were billions of synthetic bacteria in the lab dishes — all of them making exclusively the biological molecules associated with M mycoides."