• Question: Would you ever make artificial seeds and send them into space?

    Asked by 812trn28 to Anne, Beth, COLFlight, Jon, Tom on 7 Oct 2015. This question was also asked by PreciousPandaHannah.
    • Photo: Anne Visscher

      Anne Visscher answered on 7 Oct 2015:

      Hi there,

      Unfortunately, I don’t think it is possible right now to make artificial seeds. I know that some researchers have tried to create artificial ‘synthetic’ bacteria a few years ago (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10132762), but I haven’t read about anything similar for plants. The genomes of plants are very large compared to the genomes of bacteria, so it would be very difficult to build all the DNA of all the chromosomes synthetically, but maybe in the future this will not be difficult anymore. But, even if you could do it, you need to make sure that the plant you are coding (with DNA) is able to live in the space environments that you are sending it too.