Saturday, May 22, 2010

Scientists have created the first synthetic cell.


Craig Venter and his associates have succeeded in artificially creating a new DNA sequence, implanting the DNA into a bacterium and then booting that sequence so that the bacterium is replicating. They, in essence, have created a new life form from scratch. The first synthetic cell.

The video is of his announcement. I will let him do the explaining because I don't have anywhere near the knowledge base to fully understand how they did it. I will say, though, that this is amazing stuff.

This is already upsetting some people. I have read some that are claiming that these scientists have created life and are playing God. Dr. Venter has been very clear to point out that they are NOT making the claim that they have created life from scratch. What they have done is created a new life form (a new species) from an already existing life form. I think we all understand by now that the specific DNA code sequence in each life form is what makes us a unique individual. What these scientists have done is create a unique DNA sequence from bottles of chemicals and implanted that DNA sequence into a bacterium cell that has had it's original DNA removed. What is amazing is that the cell then replicated itself - it multiplied.

The implications here are enormous. One can only imagine what will follow from this. Think of it this way - who could have imagined what has followed when the first computer was created. I think we will find this to be an even greater event in the history of mankind.

Initial applications are looking into creating new vaccines and creating cells that could capture CO2 from the atmosphere that could then be refined into fuel. That will just be a beginning. I think this will be a breakthrough on the par of the discovery of electricity or the creation of the written word.

I hope we do not succumb to the 21st Century version of the people who tried Galileo for heresy and actually burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for believing that the Earth orbited around the Sun. These people exist, they are already writing and making their accusations. This breakthrough is not a refutation of God. I would prefer to argue that this breakthrough was accomplished by people created by God and inspired by God.

Many will be fearful of this new technology. But I prefer to remember that God does not give me more than I can handle - but He often times has a higher opinion of me than I have of myself.

Peace.
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