Friday, May 21, 2010

Synthetic life is here? Deal with it.


via ted.com

That was the big story of the week in biology: the creation, in the lab, of a synthetic organism - a radically transgenic (transgenomic?) bacterium that had all its DNA replaced by a chromosome sequenced on a computer! So - not entirely synthetic, but enough where it counts, in its DNA. With a website url embedded within its code, no less! Heck, for all I know, the code for the above video might be embedded in there too! Or, at least, Dr. Venter's own face.

I know this has caused much stir in the media and for a number of people who were apparently not expecting anything like this to happen so soon (and Venter's hubris sure helps fan the flames as you can see in the comments thread responding to the TED video). Well, I think that most people familiar with modern molecular biology knew this was coming. Too soon? I don't know. Hardly surprising though, especially given Venter's record and stated ambitions in this area. I don't know enough about the molecular biology involved to say whether this is as big a breakthrough as is being suggested, but the feat sure seems pretty impressive.

As for what it means - I'll let the moralists on various sides (from the POTUS on down to your corner church and/or eco-anarchist co-op) sort that one out! We know (and have known for some time) that the technology is here, more or less, and now we have this semi-synthetic creature in our midst. Life just gets more exciting, doesn't it?

Venter was also interviewed on Science Friday earlier today, about this work. They don't have the audio up on the archive page for the interview yet, but I suspect they will soon enough, so keep an ear there if you want to hear more about this. And, for the gory details, you probably want to read the actual Science paper as well, right?

2 comments:

knowledge is power May 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM  

The article should have been titled as Synthia & Apollo and their Synthetic Life.

Synthetic/Synthia/Cynthia

http://www.urbandictionary.com­/define.php?term=Synthia

Cynthia or "Synthia" was originally an epithet of the Greek goddess of the moon, Artemis, who was sometimes called "Cynthia" because, according to legend, the goddess was born on Mount Cynthus. Known also as a master of animals. Parallel Greek goddess to Roman goddess Diana. Daughter of Leto and twin sister of Apollo.


Synthia & Apollyon are one in the same... The hermaphrodite beast of the book of Revelations as seen as Apollyon and the 'scarlet whore' named as Hel...

All you have to do is study the Apollo/Athena, whom is Synthia/Artemis, angle in every story/issue/matter, and you will find the source of the evil. Because the beast named as Apollo/Athena is at the core of EVERY evil ever seen down through ALL the eons and ages... That evil can be seen when the connected names are completed... They touch every evil ever known...

Amanda November 4, 2013 at 5:06 AM  

This video is absolutely historical! nice one! Amanda Vanderpool CEO

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