Scientists have succeeded in creating artificial life in a test tube, in a development which promises to revolutionise biotechnology.Some good news. My dream of one day owning a cyborg army just got a little more real.
I'm sure the process was extremely complicated.
The research team, led by Craig Venter, who previously directed one of the teams which decoded the human genome, said it had created synthetic life in the form of a new species of bacteria that operates entirely under the control of a man-made set of genetic instructions, originally stored on a computer. They synthesised the genome of a bacterial cell and used it to "boot up" the empty cell of another species of bacteria, which then replicated freely as if it were carrying its own set of genetic instructions instead of a set made in a laboratory.Yawn. Yep, complicated. Not to self: to create cyborg army, will need to kidnap key scientists. I can't be arsed replicating their work.
Some ethicists, however, expressed concerns. "Venter is not merely copying life artificially - he is going towards the role of a god - creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally," said Professor Julian Savulescu, an ethicist at the University of Oxford.Hmmm... Sounds like someone's green with envy and wants to be a god too.
Professor John Harris, an expert on biomedical ethics at Manchester University, said: "This is heady stuff which Venter admits has powerful potential for both good and ill. While Venter is very precise about the possible benefits he is not specific about the dangers. This work deserves enthusiasm, but only so long as the risks are given attention commensurate with the benefits."What dangers? My cyborg army will be models of discipline and self-control. They will only destroy life when I command it.