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Now this is interesting...

OK, that's interesting, if overstated in the headline - they didn't create the bacterium, they gave it an upgrade with externally created instructions. Still mighty impressive, of course... My thanks to Quadibloc on rec.arts.sf.written for the link.

From The Times Online, UK
May 21, 2010
Scientists create artificial life in laboratory

Mark Henderson, Science Editor

Synthetic life has been created in the laboratory in a feat of ingenuity that pushes the boundaries of humanity’s ability to manipulate the natural world.

Craig Venter, the biologist who led the effort to map the human genome, said yesterday that the first cell controlled entirely by man-made genetic instructions had been produced.

The synthetic bacterium, nicknamed Synthia, has been hailed as a step change in biological engineering, allowing the creation of organisms with specialised functions that could never have evolved in nature. The team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, is investigating how the technology could yield microbes that make vaccines, and algae that turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon biofuels.

The rest of the article can be found at the link in the headline. Have fun!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2010 09:38 am (UTC)
Catgirl bioroids, here we come!
May. 21st, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )