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Artificial life created, could it wipe out humanity?

Artificial life created, could it wipe out humanity?

UK Dailymail
May 21, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPE2CnThito

Scientists today lined up to air their fears over a genome pioneer’s claims that he has created artificial life in the laboratory.

In a world first, which has alarmed many, maverick biologist and billionaire entrepreneur Craig Venter, built a synthetic cell from scratch.

The creation of the new life form, which has been nicknamed ‘Synthia’, paves the way for customised bugs that could revolutionise healthcare and fuel production, according to its maker.

But there are fears that the research, detailed in the journal Science, could be abused to create the ultimate biological weapon, or that one mistake in a lab could lead to millions being wiped out by a plague, in scenes reminiscent of the Will Smith film I Am Legend.

While some hailed the research as ‘a defining moment in the history of biology’, others attacked it as ‘a shot in the dark’, with ‘unparalleled risks’. The team involved have been accused of ‘playing God’ and tampering ‘with the essence of life’.

Call for ‘artificial life’ DNA ban

 

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