T Nation

So, About That Artificial Life Thing

Source:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/oct/06/genetics.climatechange

[quote]The Guardian can reveal that a team of 20 top scientists assembled by Mr Venter, led by the Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, has already constructed a synthetic chromosome, a feat of virtuoso bio-engineering never previously achieved. Using lab-made chemicals, they have painstakingly stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code.

The DNA sequence is based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium which the team pared down to the bare essentials needed to support life, removing a fifth of its genetic make-up. The wholly synthetically reconstructed chromosome, which the team have christened Mycoplasma laboratorium, has been watermarked with inks for easy recognition.
[/quote]

Looks like man-made chromosomes are here. Once they get this shit to be self-replicating, artificial life forms are right around the corner, right?

So, what do you guys think? I think the first time we build a human from scratch we should call him Adam Jr… If that doesn’t result in a population-emaciating world war, nothing will.

Anyone else find it odd that it is called genitalium?

Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. Bacteria could be created, he speculates, that could help mop up excessive carbon dioxide, thus contributing to the solution to global warming, or produce fuels such as butane or propane made entirely from sugar.

Gotta get a piece of the Global Warming cash cow.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. Bacteria could be created, he speculates, that could help mop up excessive carbon dioxide, thus contributing to the solution to global warming, or produce fuels such as butane or propane made entirely from sugar.

Gotta get a piece of the Global Warming cash cow.[/quote]

That was silly, Zap.
If he indeed can find a way to reduce co2 emissions, he can rightfully get as many nobel prizes as he can carry.

[quote]Schwarzfahrer wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Mr Venter believes designer genomes have enormous positive potential if properly regulated. In the long-term, he hopes they could lead to alternative energy sources previously unthinkable. Bacteria could be created, he speculates, that could help mop up excessive carbon dioxide, thus contributing to the solution to global warming, or produce fuels such as butane or propane made entirely from sugar.

Gotta get a piece of the Global Warming cash cow.

That was silly, Zap.
If he indeed can find a way to reduce co2 emissions, he can rightfully get as many nobel prizes as he can carry.[/quote]

We already have living organisms that mop up carbon dioxide. This statement is either a reporters misinterpretation of Venter’s statement or a pathetic plea for funding.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
We already have living organisms that mop up carbon dioxide. [/quote]

Yeah, they’re called trees :0

[quote]Chewie wrote:
Anyone else find it odd that it is called genitalium? [/quote]

No. I don’t. Why is a testicle generically referred to as a genital? Probably because it has to do with the emanation of life. Gene, genesis… the Greek root for origin.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Chewie wrote:
Anyone else find it odd that it is called genitalium?

No. I don’t. Why is a testicle generically referred to as a genital? Probably because it has to do with the emanation of life. Gene, genesis… the Greek root for origin.[/quote]

So we shall drink Gin, then.