Friday, July 16, 2010

Ted Peters on Synthetic Biology

Sze Zeng alerted me to this article by Ted Peters on synthetic biology. This is the first time I am aware of this Journal of Cosmology.

Journal of Cosmology, 2010, Vol 8, In Press., June, 2010

Commentaries: Artificial Life


On May 20, 2010, famed geneticist Craig Venter and colleagues published a landmark study in the emerging field of 'synthetic biology', the creation of an artificial bacterium genome (copied from DNA sequences of Mycoplasma mycoides) which was transferred into a closely related microbe which began to successfully reproduce, making over a billion copies of itself.

Venter's achievement has drawn mostly enthusiastic praise, with some likening it to the 'splitting the atom' and deserving of the Nobel Prize. Yet others' warn of a 'Frankenstein monster' and 'genetic pollution'; fearing that artificial genes and artificial life may take over the world, and end life as we know it.

Scientists and bioethicists from around the world have been asked to comment and to explain. What is the real significance of this achievement, and is there any reason to feel fear?

read the whole article

HT: Sze Zeng

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