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Chinese Scientists Used CRISPR to Make a New Species With 'One Giant Chromosome'

• https://motherboard.vice.com, by Daniel Oberhaus

Chinese scientists used CRISPR to create a new species of yeast, according to recent research published in Nature. This marks the first time the controversial gene editing technology has been used to successfully create an artificial species with a single genome and demonstrates the technology's potential for "large-scale genome engineering."

Yeast are found in a number of foods you encounter on a day-to-day basis, including beer, bread, and yogurt. "Yeast" is a catch-all term for an incredibly diverse group of single-celled species that belong to one of two phyla, the Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. The yeast you would encounter in foods belong to the former phylum. For the last 20 million years or so, these yeast cells have all had 16 chromosomes.

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