reseize logo;

Who is what? What is where? Where am I? Are you there?

You have hit the other collection, a newslog designed for the curious.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Synthetic Life or Radically Engineered Life?

Scientists are aiming to build an entire living cell from the basic chemical ingredients. Giovanni Murtas of the Enrico Fermi Centre at the University of Rome 3, Italy, reported last week at the Synthetic Biology 3.0 meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, that his team had taken a step toward this goal by successfully synthesising proteins in cell-like compartments. According to George Church at Harvard Medical School in Boston, who has devised a complete blueprint for a synthetic cell, an investment of around $10 million would be enough to turn the "bottom-up" dream into reality. "Our approach doesn't require any super new technology," he says.
Whichever definition of synthetic life you adopt, it seems now to be a question of when rather than if. "We are at the doorstep of being able to create life," says Steen Rasmussen, a physicist trying to create artificial living systems at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Venter says that efforts to synthesise his minimal genome from scratch are still in progress, but once it is ready, the transplant method should allow the first bacterium with a synthetic genome to be created with little delay. "It could be weeks or months," he says. Not everyone accepts that Venter's bacterium will qualify as a "synthetic" organism. "It's a misnomer," says Deamer, who argues that a better name would be a radically engineered organism. So when are we likely to see unequivocally synthetic life, with the entire cell built from scratch? "It could be five months or 10 years," says Church. "These things aren't so much a question of timescales as the amount of money available." Read more...

This was seized 4 u at New Scientist
tags: ,,,,

Labels: ,

Comments on "Synthetic Life or Radically Engineered Life?"


post a comment

Links to "Synthetic Life or Radically Engineered Life?"

Create a Link