Subject: ABC - NewsMail
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 4:16 PM

* New life form breakthrough*

American scientists could be about to make one of the greatest
breakthroughs in history - the creation of a new form of life.

They say they have identified the key genes necessary for life to
exist and plan to put them together to create a simple organism.

They say a species of bacterium needs about 300 genes to continue
growing and reproducing.

Dr Craig Ventor, from Maryland, says he now has the ability to
build a living organism, gene by gene.


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