I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Taximom, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/06/genetics.climatechange

    Ed Pilkington in New York
    Saturday October 6 2007
    Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.

    The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming.

    Mr Venter told the Guardian he thought this landmark 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".

    The Guardian can reveal that a team of 20 top scientists assembled by Mr Venter, led by the Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, has already constructed a synthetic chromosome, a feat of virtuoso bio-engineering never previously achieved. Using lab-made chemicals, they have painstakingly stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code.

    The DNA sequence is based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium which the team pared down to the bare essentials needed to support life, removing a fifth of its genetic make-up. The wholly synthetically reconstructed chromosome, which the team have christened Mycoplasma laboratorium, has been watermarked with inks for easy recognition.
    (much more at link)
     
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  3. AmandaBrown23

    AmandaBrown23 Im just living among all the madness

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    Um I dont know how to feel about this. On one side its kinda interesting but on the other it just seems wrong
     
  4. blaize

    blaize Former Member

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    With great power comes greater responsibility ...

    It's really only a matter of time before it will be possible for scientists to tinker with genetics to the extent that many aspects of life that we take for granted may be artificially manipulated.

    As unsettling as that sounds it's up to us and our legislators how advances like this are used or abused.

    [Source]
     
  5. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    When I saw that title...I thought...what on EARTH is Taximom doing!!?!? LOL :eek: :D I didn't read carefully enough. LOL!
     
  6. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    Pretty soon you will be able to custom order.
     
  7. blaize

    blaize Former Member

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    :laugh::laugh:

     

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