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Thread: Is this the start of something worrying?

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Is this the start of something worrying?

    Scientist to create artificial life

    Scientists are on the verge of creating the world's first artificial life form, it has been reported

    Craig Venter, a DNA researcher, has built an entirely synthetic chromosome - a sequence of genes - and plans to implant it in an existing cell.

    If he succeeds he and his team will have created an almost entirely new life form for the first time.

    Researchers hope the discovery will lead to developments in bio-engineering to help tackle climate change, or provide alternative energy sources.

    It will also provoke widespread debate about the ethics of "playing God" by creating new species.

    Mr Venter told The Guardian newspaper that creating the new life form would be "a very important philosophical step in the history of our species".

    "We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before," he said.

    Mr Venter's team is the first to create an artificial chromosome. It is 381 genes long and has been named Mycoplasma laboratorium.

    The scientists hope to implant it in to the cell of another bacterium to create the artificial life.

    The resulting bacterium will rely on the molecules of the host cell to reproduce, but will otherwise be entirely artificial.

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  2. #2
    Glenda's Avatar
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    Makes one think of the worst case scenario ... an organism that could cause widespread damage or disease. As if there wasn't enough dangers in the world already.

    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

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