Researchers Say They’ve Created a Synthetic Cell

My family visited this past weekend and I took my nephews (4 and 6) to the Museum of Flight. What struck me the most at the museum was the timeline from the Wright brothers first flight in 1903 to the first planes in WWI, and then onwards to aviation as we know it today. Progress happens fast and it seems to only gets faster.

With all the attention on the BP spill, I almost missed this announcement last week. What will the world look like for our children? I caught a glimpse of what the future of biotech might look like at the NAIS conference this year, and it is truly wonderful, fascinating, and awesome. Will I live to see some of the fruits of this research? Will the kids I teach see it?

The article starts,

The genome pioneer J. Craig Venter has taken another step in his quest to create synthetic life, by synthesizing an entire bacterial genome and using it to take over a cell. Dr. Venter calls the result a “synthetic cell” and is presenting the research as a landmark achievement that will open the way to creating useful microbes from scratch to make products like vaccines andbiofuels. At a press conference Thursday, Dr. Venter described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.”

You can read more of the nytimes article here, or you can watch the  TED video below.

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