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American Scientist Creates 'Artificial Life'


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American biologist Craig Venter has announced that he has created the first ever "artificial life form" on Earth at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a U.S. laboratory and research center.

 

The breakthrough is the culmination of fifteen years of research and builds upon earlier work, research which saw the creation of a synthetic bacterial genome and the transplant of a genome from one species of bacteria into a second. "Synthia", a nickname derived from synthetic lifeform, combines these two techniques to create a "new lifeform".

 

A genome was created using synthetic chromosomes made from bottles of chemicals, the chromosomes sequenced to create a genome using as a template an existing bacterium. A bacterium from different species then had its own genome removed and the synthetic one transplanted in its place. Venter's achievement is that the new genome switched on and the new cell was able to replicate. A process likened to the booting of a computer with a new operating system.

 

Venter's achievement has been dismissed by some as falling short of a true technological breakthrough, claiming that rather than creating a new genome, that he has merely recreated the genome of an existing bacterium: "a technical tour de force" but not breakthrough science, according to Caltech geneticist David Baltimore.

 

Amongst the possibilities of artificial bacteria talked about are bacteria tailored to solve climate change by taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and to develop new vaccines. More complex organisms could include algae which would both be a source of biofuels and a CO2 remover. This is not, however, the instant solution to the Earth's major problems. Although enough is now known to duplicate a genome, there is insufficient knowledge as to what the role of individual chromosomes within the genome do. Any advances in synthetic biology to design life forms would require a much greater understanding of how the creation of proteins are coded in a genome's chromosomes.

 

http://www.jcvi.org/cms/press/press-releases/full-text/article/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell-constructed-by-j-craig-venter-institute-researcher/

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Guest Naw cant b

Really?

 

So correct me if I'm wrong, but am I to understand that by simply using future versions of this "Synthia" (Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0)to permanently infect a life form, never to be removable or separable from that host life form again, for the sole purpose of adding an area in any life-form, including human beings, at the chromosomal level, to store alpha numeric code much the same way a computer's hard disk does? And Potentially marking say a synthetic farm crop as synthetic, or even every person with an IP address?

 

So, theoretically, each cell in your body would containing all of your past records, including banking credentials, allowing for all of your banking to be validated by this new form of "ID Tag" (Your Blood) with enough storage capacity in each cell to contain every piece of digital information that will ever exist about you. It/we could even be updated with another infection, perhaps daily, or even automatically as we "Plug In", as we will all have to, to buy sell or trade.

 

Bummer. Thats going to suck! :(

 

"proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome. "

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