Synthetic Life: Is It Within Our Grasp?

24Feb09

So I’m done whining.  I totally didn’t start this blog to whine about my personal problems.  I guess I’m allowed to sometimes but that sort of thing gets old.  Instead I decided to read some science news to get my mind off my troubles.  I stumbled upon an article that was kinda creepy, kinda cool.  I dunno.  It’s interesting to me to say the least.

Apparently, biochemist Steven A. Bemmer of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville is about a step away from creating artificial life.  He has created an artificial genome using the four naturally occurring nucleotides along with 8 other synthetically modified versions of them. The genome is not considered life, however, because it is not self-replicating and requires the polymerase chain reaction to replicate.  What is interesting about it is that during its replication, it passes along mutations as occurs with natural genes. Benner’s largest genome is only 81 base pairs long, though, which is insufficient to actually create an organism. The purpose of his research is to speculate what other life forms may be made of and how they might behave.

I’m having flashbacks of Jodie Foster in “Contact”…

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3 Responses to “Synthetic Life: Is It Within Our Grasp?”

  1. 1 whysharksmatter

    I’m pretty sure this kind of research is why members of the general public are distrustful of science… neat, though.

  2. TAG

    Internet Meme, I hope you don’t mind, I tagged you:

    http://ichthyes.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/best-loved-book-meme/

    Please take and mutate.

  3. oh sheesh, I tagged you for something too. You’re way too popular.


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