First Synthetic Life Form Created

By Gene Turnbow, October 11, 2010

Those of you who have read and enjoyed speculative fiction all their lives, take note of this newest development.  The J. Craig Venter institute has created the first synthetic self-replicating species whose parent is a computer.  It carries the names of its creators and its own web site encoded directly into its DNA.

It is interesting to me that while the endless discussions as to whether or not it would be ethical to create life from scratch were taking place, starting with Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, the scientists were quietly and methodically making it happen.

I offer no opinion on the ethical questions this represents, other than to note the occurrence of one of the most momentous accomplishments in human history.  Those who wanted to wait until we’d figured out the ethics of whether or not something like this ought to be done before we, as a species, created a synthetic life form, are going to have to deal with the fact that this particular ship has sailed.

The link: http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

— Gene Turnbow

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