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Author Topic: Geneticists Create First Synthetic Bacteria  (Read 1264 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: May 21, 2010, 05:05:33 AM »

Geneticists Create First Synthetic Bacteria

A team of geneticists led by American Craig Venter has created a bacterium from DNA they constructed in a laboratory using only chemicals.
Venter and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, MD, called the first man-made, single-celled life form Synthia when he announced the results of his research Thursday. His study is published in the journal Science...
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2010, 09:29:38 AM »

Lots on BBC about this same topic:
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 09:40:42 AM »

Here Dr. Ventner defends himself against accusations that he is playing God...

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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 11:48:28 AM »

As usual the hype is great. Really all that they showed was that they could create a working bacterial chromosome. They didn't make a synthetic bacterium; they simply placed this chromosome into an already functioning cell. It's an important advance but it's not the world-shattering breakthrough that the media would like it to be.
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 12:00:41 PM »

I don't get why anyone would think that Ventner is playing God. Did Ventner create ex nihilo? Did Ventner create a new law of physics? Roll Eyes

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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2010, 02:05:22 PM »

Someone strings together a chain of molecules and people panic...wow. Roll Eyes

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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2010, 04:36:18 PM »

Only need to panic is if the microbe gets loose, infects someone, and does damage.

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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2010, 05:08:13 PM »

Ya, the title in BBC is misleading.  I thought they finally put together a few organic molecules to make a cell, i.e. completely from scratch (the protocell so-called).  This is just reprogramming the bacteria, only the chromosomes are from scratch.

The pros:  We can create bacteria that can help us do things on a large scale that we can't.
The cons:  We can create bacteria that can partake of the present evolution and reproduce into something we never intended it to.

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