Skip to comments.US team creates first 'synthetic life' (bacteria cell controlled by a synthetic genome)
Posted on 05/20/2010 11:45:42 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AFP) US researchers have developed the first bacteria cell controlled by a synthetic genome, in a breakthrough which may pose philosophical and scientific questions about the bid to recreate life.
"This is the first synthetic cell that's been made," said lead researcher Craig Venter, as the discovery was unveiled.
"We call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a computer."
The team said it now hopes to use the method it has developed "to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems."
The method could be used to design bacteria specifically to help produce biofuels or to clean up environmental hazards, said the study carried out by the J. Craig Venter Institute, and published in the journal Science.
"This becomes a very powerful tool for trying to design what we want biology to do. We have a wide range of applications (in mind)," said Venter, co-author of the first sequencing of the human genome in 2000.
The researchers synthesized the 1.08 million base pair genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides, created from four bottles of chemicals which make up the components of DNA.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
‘Artificial life’ breakthrough announced by scientists
” Even some scientists worry we lack the means to weigh up the risks such novel organisms might represent, once set loose “
BBC Newsnight science editor
“US team creates first ‘synthetic life’ (bacteria cell controlled by a synthetic genome)”
How long before it’s elected to national office?
This claim is the scientific equivalent of Blumenthall's claim to be a Vietnam veteran.
I’m proud it was an American team. I’m frightened that we won’t have the wisdom or brains to control artificial life.
I’m concerned that Obama will start selecting old persons, sick children and terminally ill adults and teenagers to
start experimenting on.
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
It’s all great fun until someone gets hurt.
“Im concerned that Obama will start selecting old persons, sick children and terminally ill adults and teenagers to
start experimenting on.”
He signed the ‘Health Care’ law!
Skynet becomes self-aware at 02:14 am Eastern Time after its activation on August 4, 1997
It already was.
“The researchers synthesized the 1.08 million base pair genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides, created from four bottles of chemicals which make up the components of DNA.”
A lot of advanced techniques, but not synthetic life. If I understand they took an existing cell, removed it’s DNA, and placed an exact (but synthetic) copy of a natural DNA in that cell. The cell then performs according to the instructions in the copied DNA.
Creating a new functional DNA sequence that actually does something would be truly revolutionary, but this seems to be creating the tools needed to do something amazing, rather than the amazing thing itself.
This story is also in today’s Financial Times online edition at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/3dbad5ca-6431-11df-8618-00144feab49a.html
We do start with a living cell which we transform.