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First Artificial Life Created

For the first time ever, humans have managed to take artificial DNA and make it successfully grow into a living organism.

Scientists in the United States have managed to take an existing bacteria cell, decoded the chromosomes using a powerful computer, then copy the code, chemically constructed a new synthetic chromosome, and finally inserted this chromosome into a bacterial cell.

The breakthrough is that the cell actually replicated itself, like a real living organism, which has never been done before. The bacteria replicated over a billion times, producing many copies that were controlled by the constructed, synthetic DNA that they contained.
Open QuoteIts been a goal of humanity from the earliest ages to control nature. That's how we got agriculture, that's how we got domesticated animals. This is the next stage in our understanding, and its a baby step in our understanding of how life fundamentally works.Close Quote
Source: Craig Venter - Leader of the Team Who Created the Artificial Life

This artificial life has huge potential, and may be used to make many new things, such as fuels and drugs.

 However there has been huge controversy as whether this is a step too far for science. This is because many people believe that creating life should not be allowed, as many people believe that this is like humans playing "God", which is completely unacceptable.

On the other hand, others believe that it is a fantastic breakthrough that could change the way we live out lives, forever. This is because the potential for new things to be made from synthetic organisms is so great.
Double Helix DNA Structure

Despite the huge potential of the synthetic life, if the technology were to fall into the wrong hands, there would be a massive danger of bioterrorism.

Maybe this synthetic cell could mean that previously unreal sci-fi movies could start to become a reality in the near future!

Posted By: Christopher (Admin)
Date posted: 24th May 2010

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