www.npr.org For the first time, scientists have synthesized DNA in the lab, put it into a cell, which is now growing and multiplying. This means that we're one step closer to creating life. But some bioethicists are asking: Are we playing God? And what happens if artificial organisms leave the lab?
A - I pasted the blurb BTW - I was mostly interested in what people think about the breakthrough and what it might prove and what it might lead to. Also, 'playing god' can be used metaphorically - as in the valid questions posed in MS's Frankenstein.
What Venter has done is somewhat interesting, technically, to biology nerds like myself, but it is of very little consequence. At least, it doesn't quite live up to the hype attributed to it by the news coverage. Best case scenario, this type of synth-bio work will lead to new chassis for other synth-bio/genetic engineering work, replacing E. coli as the de facto model. If anyone is interested in the other side of synthetic biology I recommend checking out iGem's website. It is a undergraduate synthetic biology competition held annually at MIT. Read through the past years abstracts, cool stuff. Something else, all of the biobrick's created by teams are opensource and freely available, even to home enthusiasts, yup they're out there. Opensource is decidedly NOT Venter's style.