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Biologists On The Verge Of Creating 'New Form' of Life

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posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 08:19 PM
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Biologists On The Verge Of Creating 'New Form' of Life


blog.wired.com

A team of biologists and chemists is closing in on bringing non-living matter to life.

It's not as Frankensteinian as it sounds. Instead, a lab led by Jack Szostak, a molecular biologist at Harvard Medical School, is building simple cell models that can almost be called life.

Szostak's protocells are built from fatty molecules that can trap bits of nucleic acids that contain the source code for replication. Combined with a process that harnesses external energy from the sun or chemical reactions, they could form a self-replicating, evolving system that satisfies the conditions of life, but isn't anything like life on earth now, but might represent life as it began or could exist elsewhere in the universe.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 08:19 PM
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Hmm, fascinating, and potentially explosive subject?

Are we capable of creating life forms in a test tube?

What are the implications behind something like this, if successful?


"We've made more progress on how the membrane of a protocell could grow and divide," Szostak said in a phone interview. "What we can do now is copy a limited set of simple [genetic] sequences, but we need to be able to copy arbitrary sequences so that sequences could evolve that do something useful."

By doing "something useful" for the cell, these genes would launch the new form of life down the Darwinian evolutionary path similar to the one that our oldest living ancestors must have traveled. Though where selective pressure will lead the new form of life is impossible to know.




blog.wired.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 08:23 PM
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Originally posted by DimensionalDetective
What are the implications behind something like this, if successful?


I hope they're washing their hands.





...but isn't anything like life on earth now...



That actually terrifies me. I don't have a problem with the science. I just have a problem with the assumption this isn't particularly dangerous.



posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 09:19 PM
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If they master this, and were able to create new lifeforms and cells, etc. wouldn't they be able to create something that could destroy cancer and other diseases and viruses?



posted on Sep, 13 2008 @ 09:19 AM
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I think this is really cool.

If sucessful it will go along way to help solve some of the mysteries surrounding DNA.


The thing is that it doesn't matter how different that it is to life, now, the fact that it will be following the principals of Darwinism, it will resemble current life given time.




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