U.S. researchers at the J.Craig Venter Institute has made an empty cell, injected with synthetic, man-made materials able to reproduce. Wired has this report. Although you most likely need something more than this to call it life, there is little doubt that Craig Venter and his team are breaking new boundaries between man and God.
J.Craig Venter Institute, made headlines in 2008 when they showed that they had created an artificial Mycoplasma genitalium genome. Medias then said that they had created artificial life, and there was much debate. But it was taken out of proportions, because the cell took extremely long time before the scientists could see anything happen. They could wait a month for the smallest result. This time they say it is different. Now it is plainly said that human-induced DNA for the first time has started «normal» cell growth.
It was a Friday in March that the scientists at J.Craig Venter Institute injected one million base pairs of synthetic/man-made DNA into a Mycoplasma capricolum cell. When the researchers returned to work on Monday the one cell had become a whole cell colony.
– When we look at life forms, we see fixed entities,” said J.Craig Venter, president of the Institute, in a recent podcast. – But this shows in fact how dynamic they are. They change from second to second. And that life is basically the result of an information process. Our genetic code is our software.
With this, J. Craig Venter, in my opinion has opened up for a potential nightmare for humanity. Am I wrong to say that it must require an extreme degree of excessive hubris to believe that human beings can have full oversight of the building blocks of life, and hence be guaranteed not to be the new Dr. Frankenstein? The Bible is clear enough. Neither man nor Satan can create life, so it is probably no cause for concern. But what level of destructive madness can researchers like this trigger, on their path to a goal they by the grace of God will have no chance of reaching?
- The healing ways of history (telegraph.co.uk)
- Scientists create synthetic cell, version 1.0 (news.cnet.com)
- Reporters’ Roundtable: What is artificial life? (podcast) (cnet.com)
- Reid Hoffman, Peter Gabriel & Craig Venter Look Inside Out at MIT’s Media Lab (bostinno.com)
Photo by NIAID