Saturday, May 22, 2010
Scientists Make Artificial life
BBC -- This is the first time any synthetic DNA has been in complete control of a cell. Dr Craig Venter J Craig Venter InstituteScientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first synthetic living cell. The researchers constructed a bacterium's "genetic software" and transplanted it into a host cell. The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species "dictated" by the synthetic DNA. The advance, published in Science, has been hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms.
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But as Fiona Macrae points out at the Daily Mail in the UK: "Scientists today lined up to air their fears over a genome pioneer's claims that he has created artificial life in the laboratory.
In a world first, which has alarmed many, maverick biologist and billionaire entrepreneur Craig Venter, built a synthetic cell from scratch. The creation of the new life form, which has been nicknamed 'Synthia', paves the way for customised bugs that could revolutionise healthcare and fuel production, according to its maker.
But there are fears that the research, detailed in the journal Science
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