Is creating artificial life a dangerous game of ‘playing God’?
Biologist Dr Craig Venter creates artificial life,' but the breakthrough is raising both hopes and concerns...
A maverick scientist has created ‘artificial life’ for the first time in a breakthrough some believe is as significant as splitting the atom.
BiologistDr Craig Venterproduced man-made bacteria which could not have existed before, by writing a genetic sequence from scratch.
However, his critics said he wasplaying Godand raised the possibility of his technology giving rise to the ‘most powerful bioweapons imaginable‘.
Oxford University‘s Prof Julian Savulescu said: ‘Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity’s history, potentially peeking into its destiny. At the moment, it is basic bacteria just capable of replicating. This is a step towards something much morecontroversial– the creation of living beings with capacities and natures that could never have naturally evolved.’
Benefits could include the creation ofcheap drugs, biofuels, biotissueand even new organisms toabsorb CO2and help repair damage to the environment.
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