Thursday, January 24, 2008

Real ALife

"A bacterium (plural: bacteria) is a unicellular microorganism."

"Artificial life
(commonly Alife or alife) is a field of study and an associated art form which examine systems related to life, its processes, and its evolution through simulations using computer models, robotics, and biochemistry.[1] "

Synthetic Biology...
combines science and engineering in order to design and build ("synthesize") novel biological functions and systems.

"US scientists have taken a major step toward creating the first ever artificial life form by synthetically reproducing the DNA of a bacteria, according to a study published Thursday. "Through dedicated teamwork we have shown that building large genomes is now feasible and scalable so that important applications such as biofuels can be developed," said Dr. Hamilton Smith." (J.Craig Venter Institute)

As stated in BRT, (Frankenstein Redux) Venter was beginning to get close to his stated goal of creating life. Looks like he's almost there. "In the final stage of their research which they are already working on, the Maryland-based team will attempt to create a bacteria based purely on the synthetic genome sequence of the Mycoplasma genitalium bacteria.

The bacteria, which causes certain sexually transmitted diseases, has one of the least complex DNA structures of any life form, composed of just 580 genes. "

Click here to read NYT's take on the same subject.

It appears the insightful Just Say No campaign to premarital sex as advocated by the Bush Administration doesn't apply when building the first real artificial life form based on a sexually communicable disease.

"Don't you just love it? "- John Travolta, Broken Arrow.
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