Artificial Life Rules

2010 May 21

The Guardian

Scientists have created the world’s first synthetic life form in a landmark experiment that paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved.

The controversial feat, which has occupied 20 scientists for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of $40m, was described by one researcher as “a defining moment in biology”.

Craig Venter, the pioneering US geneticist behind the experiment, said the achievement heralds the dawn of a new era in which new life is made to benefit humanity, starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and even manufacture vaccines.

Anyone who is really interested should watch the video at the link. And you SHOULD be interested. Man has created life. But then why am I surprisingly numb? Maybe I need it to be a trending Twitter topic for it to feel real. The Grey’s Anatomy finale is obviously much more important than this. Or #whywebrokeup. Jesus Christ, no one gives a shit about your boyfriend cheating on you with your younger sister. You’ll be able to have a new one synthetically made soon enough.

I can’t wait for all the different lifeforms that will be made to serve mankind. Sure, we’ll be able to scrub carbon from the atmosphere, and create new vaccines quicker, but what about making even better Wendy’s Crispy Chicken Nuggets from scratch? But I guess that’s food engineering, which has already been going on for a long while. How about a spider-killing bacteria that will only operate within 3 feet of your bed? Maybe a special coating of bacteria on a golf ball that makes it fly straight every time by intelligently halting sideward spin?

On a serious note, imagine how cool it’d be if there were a bacteria that could just be dumped into the Gulf of Mexico that would break down all the hydrocarbons automatically?

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  • Boogie

    Ian Malcolm is losing his shit right now.

  • Anonymous

    Ohhhhhh thats why the world ends in 2012. Hopefully they roll out the blowjob bacteria before then so we can all go anesthetized with pleasure.