Artificial Life Form Created By Genetic Engineers Using Synthetic DNA
Genetic engineers announced the creation of a living organism with synthetic DNA sequencing. The good/bad news scenario was created by the fact that scientists created a so called life form from scratch. Man-made DNA sequencing could lead to new fuels, drugs, vaccines and sources of food. It also concerns those who imagine killer germs in the hands of state-sponsored bioterrorists. The Catholic Church has also issued a warning to scientists about synthetic DNA.
Article Resource: Genetic engineers create artificial life form using synthetic DNA
Synthetic genome sequencing from scratch
This synthetic sequencing is a result of $ 40 million in investments and 15 years of work by the J. Craig Venter Institute. As reported Friday in the journal Science, genetic engineers succeeded for the first time in making a copy of a bacterium’s entire genome. The synthetic genome was then transplanted into a different bacteria emptied of its own genome. Once the DNA had assimilated into its environment, the recipient bacteria started to function and reproduce in the same manner as the naturally occurring bacteria from which the synthetic DNA was copied.
Genetic Code gluing together
Computer designed synthetic bacteria have fueled scientific curiosity for years with the promise of a large cash till payday from cheap, efficient production of custom enzymes, fuels and medications. The Christian Science Monitor reports that to create the synthetic DNA, scientists at J. Craig Venter Institute used yeast to glue together thousands of DNA snippets. With microscopic precision, the strands of genetic code all came together in runs of tens of thousands of base pairs, and then hundreds of thousands, until the yeast produced a complete 1.08 million-base-pair synthetic genome.
Genetic engineering controversies
Technological benefits are promised by genetic engineering of synthetic DNA. It also will attract government regulation and fear. Bloomberg reports that some bio-scientists warn that genetic engineering companies like the J. Craig Venter Institute that can manufacture synthetic DNA should watch their backs. Speaking about the way the J. Craig Venter Institute coordinated efforts with other laboratories to cook up the genome, James Collins, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-supported bioengineer at Boston University, told Bloomberg that “They sent out chunks of the genetic code to companies and asked them each to synthesize parts of it,” Collins said. “You don’t want bad guys to order 10 parts of a nasty virus from 10 different groups and then put them together.”
A scare of synthetic DNA by Catholic Church
The Catholic Church has talked about the issue. The Associated Press reports that Catholic Church officials said Friday the recently created first synthetic cell could possibly be a positive development if correctly used, but warned scientists that only God can create life. Bishop Domenico Mogavero, expressed concern that scientists might be tempted to play God. "Pretending to be God and parroting his power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into a barbarity," Mogavero said in an interview with La Stampa. Scientists "should never forget that there is only one creator: God."
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The Christian Science Monitor reports