Quantum Spin

Well, due to some spammer having found this obscure blog, I have been forced to refuse Anonymous posts. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for legitimate posters, but since I am unable to send feedback to the offending servers causing them to explode and burst into flames - well, I do what I can. Thank you to all my sincere commentators and may the spammers rot in digital agony.

Friday, June 29, 2007


First artificial life 'within months'

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 6:42am BST
Scientists could create the first new form of artificial life within months after a landmark breakthrough in which they turned one bacterium into another.
No, it's not Ricardo Montalban crawling out of a test-tube, but maybe something more dangerous.
Or, maybe something beneficial.
Or, maybe as beneficial as it is dangerous...

In a development that has triggered unease and excitement in equal measure, scientists in the US took the whole genetic makeup - or genome - of a bacterial cell and transplanted it into a closely related species.

This then began to grow and multiply in the lab, turning into the first species in the process.
I wonder if we really know enough about genetics to do this sort of thing safely. Are we really able to predict what our DNA manipulation will produce? Do we really know enough about it to ensure that an artificial DNA strand doesn't have any sequences that might cause it to become the foundation of a microscopic bug that we have absolutely no immunity to?

What is in the Pandora's Box we are opening? Toys or fatally poisonous barbs? Do we have any clue?

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