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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: BBC News - 'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

BBC News - 'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists
by ubernoir at 1:30 pm EDT, May 20, 2010

Scientists 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.

RE: BBC News - 'Artificial life' breakthrough announced by scientists
by Stefanie at 5:21 pm EDT, May 20, 2010

Dr. Venter told BBC News: "We've now been able to take our synthetic chromosome and transplant it into a recipient cell - a different organism.

"As soon as this new software goes into the cell, the cell reads [it] and converts into the species specified in that genetic code."

It's about time. I'm not getting any younger, you know.

The researchers hope eventually to design bacterial cells that will produce medicines and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases.

"If we can really get cells to do the production that we want, they could help wean us off oil and reverse some of the damage to the environment by capturing carbon dioxide."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever; bring on the √úbermensch!

Professor Julian Savulescu, from the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, said the potential of this science was "in the far future, but real and significant".

"But the risks are also unparalleled," he continued. "We need new standards of safety evaluation for this kind of radical research and protections from military or terrorist misuse and abuse.

"These could be used in the future to make the most powerful bioweapons imaginable. The challenge is to eat the fruit without the worm."

It never happens that way. Like all other technology, it will be used in any and every way that it can be used (and misused). We know what happens whenever we let genies out of their bottles. Haven't these people ever played Resident Evil? I'm not saying "Don't open the bottle," I'm just saying "Don't act surprised when zombies are surrounding your house."

All kidding aside, interesting article. :)

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