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The real GOD delusion Part II


Frankenstein techniques can develop new speciies, will they be used for:  

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  1. 1. Frankenstein techniques can develop new speciies, will they be used for:

    • a) Good
    • b) Bad
    • c) To build Jurassic Park

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Scientists close to creating life after piecing together giant DNA jigsaw

The creation of artificial life is only a step away after the controversial biologist Craig Venter announced yesterday that his team had successfully synthesised the entire genetic code of a bacterium.

By piecing together the 582,970 DNA letters of Mycoplasma genitalium from scratch, Dr Venter has completed the second of three stages required to produce a man-made organism.

Last year his J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, made the first move towards this ambitious goal by transforming one microbe into another by substituting its DNA with that of a close relative. The final step will now be to use this genome transplant procedure to place the newly built artificial chromosome into a bacterial cell. This will create a life form with biological instructions written entirely by humans.

Efforts to achieve this have already begun, and the team hopes for success within months. Dr Venter, who courted controversy with his project to sequence the human genome for profit, wants to create artificial organisms so that he can synthesise new species of bacteria that produce environmentally friendly fuels such as hydrogen.

He has commissioned independent bioethicists to review his project. Critics have raised concerns that the technology could either deliberately or accidentally produce virulent new germs.

In a study published in the journal Science, a team led by Daniel Gibson and Hamilton Smith made fragments of DNA from its chemical ingredients. These were then grown inside yeast cells to assemble them in the order of the genome of M. genitalium, which is so called as it was first found living in the urethra. Its genome contains 18 times more DNA letters than the next biggest that has been built in the laboratory.

“We have completely synthesised a chromosome, and we can now try to boot it up in a cell,” Dr Venter said. “There are still barriers to this – it’s not a slam dunk, or we’d be announcing it today. But we are confident they can be overcome.”

The title of the article is a bit misleading as they are nowhere near creating life, but are indeed close to creating or developing an alternative species.

So today's pseudo-philosophical ponderance is:

Will frankenstein techniques help develop new species for the good of mankind; or

Will frankenstein techniques create new dangers that will harm mankind.

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as I watched "I am legend" on DVD last night ,I kinda know the answer to this one :-)

i'm for stem cellwork as I think being able to harvest body parts ,as long as it can be strctly controleed , for medical use benefits man kind

but playing " God " nope ..dangerous grounds

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Once it's been perfected, the first people to pounce will be those interested in profiting from it commercially. Therefore your option about Jurassic Park, which many will probably vote for thinking it to be a joke option, won't be far from the truth.

Edit: Or a military use, as pointed out previously. The argument over whether that is "right" or "wrong" is a very different one.

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