Friday, May 21, 2010

First 'synthetic life'

( -- Scientists have developed the first cell controlled by a synthetic genome. They now hope to use this method to probe the basic machinery of life and to engineer bacteria specially designed to solve environmental or energy problems.
"This is the first synthetic cell that's been made, and 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," said Venter.
"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]," he said.


cybrbeast said...

When I first read the title I immediately thought of abiogenesis, which this is clearly not, and which would be a more profound development.

But this still is really important progress in the field and will probably lead to much more useful applications than abiogenesis would.

BTW, Nice posting while I was gone!

annom said...

That was also my first thought. I was a bit disappointed at first, but got excited again when I read more.

Genewatch was already crying about them "playing god". Future applications can be pretty dangerous, but playing god is no fucking argument.

pimp-a-lot bear said...

Interesting development!

And no, 'playing god' isn't an argument, otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to have an aquarium. Or kill the mosquito's in my room. Or enjoy some fried eggs.