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randomtask
05-21-2010, 11:33 AM
So, apparently a biologist named Craig Venter and his team have created an artificial genome and inserted it into a cell, creating what they call the first synthetic lifeform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form

Thoughts? Opinions? Is it actually synthetic life? What does it mean for the future of humanity?

OABB
05-21-2010, 11:35 AM
So, apparently a biologist named Craig Venter and his team have created an artificial genome and inserted it into a cell, creating what they call the first synthetic lifeform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form

Thoughts? Opinions? Is it actually synthetic life? What does it mean for the future of humanity?

Can you give girls big boobs and no voice boxes? if than I'm all for it.

gyldenlove
05-21-2010, 11:43 AM
So, apparently a biologist named Craig Venter and his team have created an artificial genome and inserted it into a cell, creating what they call the first synthetic lifeform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form

Thoughts? Opinions? Is it actually synthetic life? What does it mean for the future of humanity?

Not really synthetic life, it is like sticking a new engine in a car and saying you have made a new car.

Venter is by the way the guy who cracked the human genome.

randomtask
05-21-2010, 11:58 AM
Not really synthetic life, it is like sticking a new engine in a car and saying you have made a new car.

Venter is by the way the guy who cracked the human genome.

Did not know that, interesting.

Still, an artificial genome is a pretty big accomplishment.

Kaylore
05-21-2010, 12:03 PM
Dr Venter's team developed a new code based on the four letters of the genetic code, G, T, C and A, that allowed them to draw on the whole alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks to write the watermarks. Anyone who cracks the code is invited to email an address written into the DNA.
That's awesome.

Not really synthetic life, it is like sticking a new engine in a car and saying you have made a new car.
What if you made that engine entirely from scratch? Designed and built the thing from ground up where no one had made that kind of engine before, that way before? In fact it's not a good analogy because for that to hold, it would mean that Venter invented the first man-made engine. I think you aren't appreciating the magnitude of this.

snowspot66
05-21-2010, 12:03 PM
When they put a bunch of chemicals in a dish and make something from scratch then we can start talking about man made life.

I saw this article somewhere else and the title made for a big let down.

snowspot66
05-21-2010, 12:05 PM
That's awesome.


What if you made that engine entirely from scratch? Designed and built the thing from ground up where no one had made that kind of engine before, that way before? In fact it's not a good analogy because for that to hold, it would mean that Venter invented the first man-made engine. I think you aren't appreciating the magnitude of this.

It's a big deal. But it was also the next logical step. It's not making the entire thing up from scratch on their own which is what the article writes are implying with their titles.

hades
05-21-2010, 12:16 PM
Mobile One is funding his research, I heard.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 12:30 PM
Not really synthetic life, it is like sticking a new engine in a car and saying you have made a new car.

Yeah, the implications are different from what is being reported. "Synthetic life" creates the image of artificial or manufactured life, which isnt the case here. Bacterial genomes have been manipulated for years.


Venter is by the way the guy who cracked the human genome.

Sir Francis Collins is actually the director of the program that Venter worked on before going private. Venter published first by a hair, but Collins' program is the authority.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 12:31 PM
It's a big deal. But it was also the next logical step. It's not making the entire thing up from scratch on their own which is what the article writes are implying with their titles.

You got it.

gyldenlove
05-21-2010, 01:25 PM
What if you made that engine entirely from scratch? Designed and built the thing from ground up where no one had made that kind of engine before, that way before? In fact it's not a good analogy because for that to hold, it would mean that Venter invented the first man-made engine. I think you aren't appreciating the magnitude of this.

It would still just be a new engine, not a new car.

Fragments of DNA have been synthesized for quite a while now and it is a few years since the first self replicator was made. You can consider this akin to the first jet engine or something like that, the concept and technology has been around before but nobody had succeeded in making a fullscale genome.

This is certainly big, but in my view nowhere near the decoding of the human genome or genomic sequencing technology.

DomCasual
05-21-2010, 01:28 PM
Wasn't this scientist's last name Venter?

http://www.toplessrobot.com/peter-venkman-ghostbusters.jpg

Racer
05-21-2010, 01:32 PM
I see what you did there in the name of humor, but even to get Peter Venkman's name wrong on purpose is still a sin

Archer81
05-21-2010, 01:37 PM
Hubris.

Some things people should not do. Creating entirely new genetic sequences seems wrong to me.

:Broncos:

DomCasual
05-21-2010, 01:41 PM
I see what you did there in the name of humor, but even to get Peter Venkman's name wrong on purpose is still a sin

More than just a sin, man. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

DomCasual
05-21-2010, 01:42 PM
I see what you did there in the name of humor, but even to get Peter Venkman's name wrong on purpose is still a sin

By the way, I feel like I've done a good job when I get a guy averaging one post a month to make a post. I should get a cookie, and you should probably post more.

Racer
05-21-2010, 01:51 PM
Its true, I post once in a blue never.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 01:59 PM
Hubris.

Some things people should not do. Creating entirely new genetic sequences seems wrong to me.

:Broncos:


I wouldnt worry too much about the ethical aspect of that. We have been manipulating genes through breeding for hundreds of years. You eat food every day that has been genetically manipulated.

There are some problems associated with it though, but those have to do with the long-term survival of the species of the organism that you are manipulating, and its possible impact on other species in its ecosystem and beyond.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 02:03 PM
Coffee, Vince?
http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Technology/images/rick-moranis-in-ghostbusters.jpg

Yes...have some!

Archer81
05-21-2010, 02:04 PM
I wouldnt worry too much about the ethical aspect of that. We have been manipulating genes through breeding for hundreds of years. You eat food every day that has been genetically manipulated.

There are some problems associated with it though, but those have to do with the long-term survival of the species of the organism that you are manipulating, and its possible impact on other species in its ecosystem and beyond.


Selective breeding to get more beef out of cows or larger chicken eggs is not the same thing as creating genes out of nothing. I do worry about the ethical aspects of something like "synthetic" life. Simply because we can do something does not mean we should do something.

:Broncos:

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 02:10 PM
Selective breeding to get more beef out of cows or larger chicken eggs is not the same thing as creating genes out of nothing. I do worry about the ethical aspects of something like "synthetic" life. Simply because we can do something does not mean we should do something.

:Broncos:

You dont have to worry.

Genes are not created out of "nothing". They are made of chemicals already in abundance in biological systems. What these guys are doing, is taking patterns in the sequence of those chemicals that we already know, and inserting them into bacterial cells...essentially turning those cells into miniature manufacturing plants.

The major applications of this are industrial. It can be used to increase the efficiency of the production of pharmaceuticals, synthetic materials, alcohols, etc, etc. Bacteria are used today to produce alot of things.

http://www.bacteriamuseum.org/cms/Bacteria/applied-bacteriology-use-of-bacteria-in-industry.html

The ethical concerns are the same now as they were before, and that's concerning designer humans.

DomCasual
05-21-2010, 02:12 PM
Coffee, Vince?
http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Technology/images/rick-moranis-in-ghostbusters.jpg

Yes...have some!

Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Rohirrim
05-21-2010, 02:15 PM
We can create herds of ignorant humanoids to do all our manual labor for us and we can just lie back and enjoy life.

We'll call them Morloks.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 02:22 PM
Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Ha!

"Vince Clothor" is one of my favorite comedic inventions of all time. Love it.


"Okay, who brought the dog?"
http://www.blogcdn.com/nintendo.joystiq.com/media/2008/04/zuul043008.jpg

HILife
05-21-2010, 02:31 PM
So, apparently a biologist named Craig Venter and his team have created an artificial genome and inserted it into a cell, creating what they call the first synthetic lifeform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form

Thoughts? Opinions? Is it actually synthetic life? What does it mean for the future of humanity?


Maybe?

http://eriksmind.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/masterchief.jpg

Rohirrim
05-21-2010, 02:35 PM
When new technologies like this come along, humanity is always faced with the same, difficult, ethical question; How can we turn this into good sex?

HILife
05-21-2010, 02:40 PM
So, apparently a biologist named Craig Venter and his team have created an artificial genome and inserted it into a cell, creating what they call the first synthetic lifeform.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/20/craig-venter-synthetic-life-form

Thoughts? Opinions? Is it actually synthetic life? What does it mean for the future of humanity?

Or even better.

http://www.firstshowing.net/img/incredible-hulk-FL-03.jpg

Gob
05-21-2010, 02:53 PM
Not really synthetic life, it is like sticking a new engine in a car and saying you have made a new car.

Venter is by the way the guy who cracked the human genome.

Depends on your definition of life, I guess. I consider viruses life, and also the "life" that came before the normal package of cell walls and modern genetic machinery, so it fits the bill for me as much as anything could. More of a philosophic question then scientific.

epicSocialism4tw
05-21-2010, 03:03 PM
Depends on your definition of life, I guess. I consider viruses life, and also the "life" that came before the normal package of cell walls and modern genetic machinery, so it fits the bill for me as much as anything could. More of a philosophic question then scientific.

Ah...viruses. Very, very interesting subject as to whether or not they fit the modern defined categories of living things. Prions are fascinating as well.

Houshyamama
05-21-2010, 03:09 PM
That's awesome.


What if you made that engine entirely from scratch? Designed and built the thing from ground up where no one had made that kind of engine before, that way before? In fact it's not a good analogy because for that to hold, it would mean that Venter invented the first man-made engine. I think you aren't appreciating the magnitude of this.

It's not entirely from scratch. It's not like they created new proteins, ha. The label synthetic refers to it's creation in a lab. They used molecular techniques to "artificially" construct the genome, even though all the work is done by existing molecular structures. What we have here is a clever manipulation of existing processes in nature, and that's all biotech really is anyway.

This genome already existed in nature and is replicated every time the cell divides. There are many proteins and enzymes involved in the replication process, biotechnology takes these enzymes and manipulates them in vitro to create an "artificial" or "synthetic" genomic structure. This is not creating DNA code from the ground up, we're not creating any new proteins here, we're not creating artificial life. We are manipulating existing biomolecular processes. The only thing "synthetic" about this genome is it's creation outside the cell, but we've been creating synthetic DNA strands since a coke-head came up with the idea for Polymerase Chain Reaction while driving down I-5, blazed out of his mind in the early 90's. Problem is, it's hard to create DNA strands longer than a few thousand base pairs because the replicating enzymes just fall off. I'm sure Venter used the Greedy Algorthim among others to analyze and stitch up many thousands of fragments to create this genome. That is the accomplishment here, the creation of such a large genomic structure and it's successful transfer and acceptance by a host bacterium, not the creation of any sort of artificial life.