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 Synthetic life, ETA- 4 months
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2009 :  16:13:35  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So says Venter anyway.

Venter has been working towards this for quite a while, he is a credible scientist, and this could have significant implications in areas from energy to medicine.

Definitely a topic worthy of attention.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2009 :  17:52:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

So says Venter anyway.

Venter has been working towards this for quite a while, he is a credible scientist, and this could have significant implications in areas from energy to medicine.

Definitely a topic worthy of attention.



From article:
In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.

Yesterday Dr Venter said: ‘Assuming we don't make any errors, I think it should work and we should have the first synthetic species by the end of the year.'

The team successfully transplanted the genome of one bacteria into another for the first time in 2007.

They then created the first entirely man-made genome. But previous attempts to introduce the synthetic genome into another organism and take control of the new bacteria all failed.

Way cool!

But of course, Dr. Venter is, some will say, playing God!!!


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2009 :  18:04:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From article:
In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.
Ah, but people will say that this still doesn't solve the problem of abiogenesis, since it's not truly "life from scratch." They still need to have a preexisting cell in which to place the genome. I think I would agree.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2009 :  20:53:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

From article:
In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.
Ah, but people will say that this still doesn't solve the problem of abiogenesis, since it's not truly "life from scratch." They still need to have a preexisting cell in which to place the genome. I think I would agree.
So do I. The natural Mycoplasma genitalium cell structures that the fully synthetic DNA will be housed within are required to make the cell work. It's important that this is not over-hyped, by either Venter or the media. But Mycoplasma laboratorium will be a huge incremental step toward creating a fully synthetic lifeform.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2009 :  21:30:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

From article:
In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.
Ah, but people will say that this still doesn't solve the problem of abiogenesis, since it's not truly "life from scratch." They still need to have a preexisting cell in which to place the genome. I think I would agree.


Don't take this personally, but it's become a bit of a pet peeve of mine when skeptics take current research and frame it in a way that would oppose a particular belief such as creationism. In this case, the scientist is not concerned at all with abiogenesis.

I know you were just providing the creationist's interpretation of this research, and I am almost certain what you posted above is true (i.e. will happen), but they are completely missing the entire point. And by attempting to frame the research in terms of abiogenesis too, I feel this is only encouraging such complete disregard for the actual advance that is (will be?) made.

I know I'm taking this all way to seriously, and as I said, it's just a pet peeve. I felt like I had to say something.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2009 :  07:01:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, this research has almost nothing to do with abiogenesis. It is interesting for other reasons. I put it in the creation/evolution folder because it does seem to have some relevance in a discussion about directed evolution.

This is also the type of thing that will scare the credulous. I've already heard nonsense about scientists being irresponsible for creating a microorganism that humans have no natural defense against (which is wrong, since this isn't a fully synthetic organism they are working on) and other equally uninformed complaints from ignorant people.

Venter's goal is to take M. labratorium and then expand it's minimal genome with selected genes to perform specific tasks. Once his team gets the process down this will give us access to a microorganism that has the minimal genome to reproduce plus whatever other gene/s you want to splice in to perform those specific tasks, and the technology will probably be very easy and inexpensive to use. The advantage over the current E. coli platforms for genetic engineering are obvious, more precise control of cellular functions, fewer cell activities not specifically related to the intended task, etc.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2009 :  07:32:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Venter's artificial life is probably very close to being a reality, and a full 100% synthetic organism may not be much further away:

Some cellular components can currently be synthesized from scratch(more or less).


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2009 :  10:43:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ricky

Originally posted by H. Humbert

From article:
In January, the team created the entire genetic code of a new bacterium. They now hope to transfer such artificial DNA into a host cell to create a new species, the journal Science reported.
Ah, but people will say that this still doesn't solve the problem of abiogenesis, since it's not truly "life from scratch." They still need to have a preexisting cell in which to place the genome. I think I would agree.


Don't take this personally, but it's become a bit of a pet peeve of mine when skeptics take current research and frame it in a way that would oppose a particular belief such as creationism. In this case, the scientist is not concerned at all with abiogenesis.

I know you were just providing the creationist's interpretation of this research, and I am almost certain what you posted above is true (i.e. will happen), but they are completely missing the entire point. And by attempting to frame the research in terms of abiogenesis too, I feel this is only encouraging such complete disregard for the actual advance that is (will be?) made.

I know I'm taking this all way to seriously, and as I said, it's just a pet peeve. I felt like I had to say something.


That was my first thought as well.

All in all very, very cool though. Then of course it will mutate and kill us all

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2009 :  11:42:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gonna have to start paying attention to UD again because this project is "Intelligently Designed."

Anyhow, it is a fascinating piece of research and I look forward to reading of it's progression.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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