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21 May, 2010

Scientist Creates Life For First Time In Laboratory Sparking Debate About 'Playing God'

Scientist Craig Venter creates life for first time in laboratory sparking debate about 'playing god' - Telegraph: "Dr Craig Venter, a multi-millionaire pioneer in genetics, and his team have managed to make a completely new 'synthetic' life form from a mix of chemicals.

They manufactured a new chromosome from artificial DNA in a test tube, then transferred it into an empty cell and watched it multiply – the very definition of being alive.

The man-made single cell 'creature', which is a modified version of one of the simplest bacteria on earth, proves that the technology works.

Now Dr Venter believes organism, nicknamed Synthia, will pave the way for more complex creatures that can transform environmental waste into clean fuel, vaccinate against disease and soak up pollution.

But his development has also triggered debate over the ethics of 'playing god' and the dangers of the new technology could pose in terms of biological hazards and warfare.

'We are entering an era limited only by our imagination,' he said announcing the research published in the journal Science..."


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