World’s Leading Genome Team Create the 1st ‘Synthetic Cell’

Discovery_chan_id1_04a This is “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.”

Dr. Craig Venter -pioneer of the human genome

2010 might be looked back on as the year of the Earth's first non-biological self-replicating species. The genome pioneer J. Craig Venter has taken another step in his quest to create synthetic life by synthesizing an entire bacterial genome and using it to take over a cell.

Dr. Venter calls the result a “synthetic cell” and is presenting the research as a landmark achievement that will open the way to creating useful microbes from scratch to make products like vaccines and biofuels according to the New York Times.

“This is an important step, we think, both scientifically and philosophically,” Dr. Venter said in an interview with the journal Science, which is publishing the research this week. “It’s certainly changed my views of definitions of life and of how life works.”

Casey Kazan via New York Times

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