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Science in seconds - Synthetic Life

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Science in Seconds Know Everything RUMOURS - Synthetic Life Rheanna Sand: Humans have long sought the ultimate act of godliness: creating life out of non-living matter. And considering the state of synthetic biology today, it's clear we're about to reach an ethical and philosophical crossroads. This is because science is at the cusp of creating synthetic organisms. Researchers have been attacking this problem from many angles to ultimately create something that is capable of reproduction, inheritance, and evolution, or in other words, life. One way involves building cells from scratch with synthetic membranes and natural cell components. This creates a man-made proto-cell, a cell that has the smallest number of parts necessary to function. Another way is to strip away all but the most essential genes to create a proto-cell. The urinary tract parasite, Mycoplasma genitalium, is the bacterium of choice as it has the smallest known genome. Researchers at the Craig Venter Institute have accomplished all but the final steps in this process and should be able to create the world's first synthetic organism within a year. A slightly different approach, that doesn't get as much attention, is biological engineering. This involves building so-called living machines capable of doing chemical or electrical work. These have a promising future in biofuels, agricultural products, and pharmaceuticals. But calling one type of being a living machine versus a synthetic organism has moral implications: machines are for one purpose, they're at our disposal; organisms, on the other hand, can be protected and otherwise regulated. But it would be interested to see which side wins out in this debate: our dislike for ethics laws, or our eternal wish to finally say the immortal words, "It's alive!" Courtesy of Science in Seconds – All rights reserved Only for educational/non-profit purposes. (Translators are invited to put their name here)

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 4 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: United States
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Science in Seconds
Director: Science in Seconds
Views: 42
Posted by: tradottiinitaliano on Sep 10, 2011

“It's alive!” Or not?

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