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Two scientists report creating chromosomes

Harvard Medical School scientists say they have succeeded in creating the first man-made chromosomes, the genetic material that biologists track to discover how traits pass from one generation of organisms to the next.

Researcher Andrew Murray said Tuesday the man-made chromosomes - in yeast, not human, cells - could be used in basic gene-manipulation applications. But he warned its use in human genetic research was still limited. He said work he has done with Dr. Jack W. Szostak had succeeded in creating a chromosome in yeast, but he doubted it could be done with human chromosomes. The basic research could , however, lead to other findings about cell division, mutation, and birth defects, the researchers said.

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The work has not been accepted without question. University of Washington Prof. Herschel L. Roman said he's unsure whether what the two produced is accurately described as a chromosome.

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