Artificial life

The beginning of a new world of biomedical technology – the development of the world’s first synthetic cell. Created by Dr. J. Craig Venter and his research team, the bacterium was designed from scratch, assembled in a yeast, and then transplanted into another cell. 

Of course, the entire cell is not synthetic – the cytoplasm from the recipient cell is used – but the entire DNA sequence is artificially generated. After a series of replication however, the original content of the cell disappears and is replaced with that generated by the new DNA. 

The technology has a huge amount of potential – but also raises debate regarding the ethical and philosophical issues. Read the full article and the authors views here, and watch the announcement on video here


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