We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
Rudolf Steiner. The Riddles of Philosophy, Presented in an Outline of its History. Two Volumes, Translated, Introduced and Edited by David W. Wood (Great Barrington MA: SteinerBooks (Chadwick Edition), forthcoming 2018).
In his paper “The Catholic Church, the American Military, and Homosexual Reorientation Therapy,” David W. Lutz ultimately concludes that it is “appropriate, and highly ethical” for the American military to offer reorientation therapy to help homosexuals overcome “the vice of sodomy.” The major thrust of his paper, however, is to call for abandonment of the “Don't Ask/Don't Tell” policy currently in place in the military. Lutz's paper covers much ground, and this review begins by examining whether such a wide (...) view is necessary for the ultimate conclusions. It goes on to ask whether Lutz has omitted to mention important considerations bearing on this issue, and whether Lutz's call for the introduction of reorientation therapy is a serious call or a symbolic response to homosexual activities. Lutz fails to address essential issues such as the actual experiences of other nations having homosexuals in the military, and issues regarding what constitutes “reorientation therapy,” the latter leading to questions about how such a therapy would actually be implemented. (shrink)
Remarks to the effect that a correct answer depends upon a correct question —that from a misleading question there can result only a misleading answer—are common today. In fact, one might suspect that such common concentration on finding the right questions has something to do with what seems to be an uncommon lack of answers. This concentration on the importance of asking the right questions can be applied to the interpretation of biblical literature. For here, certainly, the questions asked are (...) often decisive. They guide the inquiry by setting the terms of the search and, in this sense, they determine at least the kind of answers that will be given. Further, they often disclose the presuppositions with which one is working. (shrink)