August 23, 2009

Artificial Life

Dr Craig Venter research team has overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism

Researchers successfully transferred the DNA of one type of bacteria into a yeast cell, modified it and then transferred it into another bacterial cell.

Since that worked, they feel they can do more advanced experimentation, including...

The first artificial life form is likely to be a simple man-made bacterium that proves that the technology can work. But it will be followed by more complex bacteria that turn coal into cleaner natural gas, or algae that can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into fuels. They could also be used to create new vaccines and antibiotics

I don't know, though... reading the article it seems like so much cut and paste, to me... I don't see where the man-made part comes in. And much of this, of course, is how so many science fiction disaster novels start out... take a worthy goal of converting coal into natural gas, let it loose in the environment, and suddenly all the oil on the planet seeps into the atmosphere, or all the plastic in the world turns into gas... Scary, worthy stuff. As long as it isn't Ice-Nine.

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