Thursday 24 April 2014
News updated at 7:01 PM IST
Weather
Max: 34.6°C
Min : 22.8°C
In Bangalore
Generally cloudy

Scientists create artificial life in laboratory

By Nicholas Wade, Washington, May 21,The New York Times:

The genome pioneer J Craig Venter has taken another step in his quest to create synthetic life, by synthesizing an entire bacterial genome and using it to take over a cell.

This undated handout image provided by the J. Craig Venter Institute shows negatively stained transmission electron micrographs of aggregated M. mycoides. AP

Venter calls the result a “synthetic cell” and considers it to open the way to creating useful microbes from scratch. Ventersaid: “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” Other scientists too agree that he has achieved a technical feat in synthesizing the largest piece of DNA so far and in making it accurate enough to substitute for the cell’s own DNA.


Venter’s aim is to achieve total control over a bacterium’s genome, first by synthesizing its DNA in a laboratory and then by designing a new genome stripped of many natural functions and equipped with new genes that govern production of useful chemicals.
Venter’s assertion that he has created a “synthetic cell” has alarmed people who think that he has created a new life form.

“My worry is that some people are going to draw the conclusion that they have created a new life form,” said Jim Collins, a bioengineer at Boston University. “What they have created is an organism with a synthesized natural genome. But it doesn’t represent the creation of life from scratch or the creation of a new life form.”

 Three Indian-origin scientists are part of the team. The 24-member team includes Sanjay Vashee, Radha Krishnakumar and Prashanth P Parmar.

 


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A worker spreads paddy crop for drying at a rice processing unit in Bavla...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

A helicopter flies past as Bangladesh's naval frigate BNS Abu Bakar participates in multi-country...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Sachin Tendulkar poses for a photograph with his wife Anjali during his 41st bithday celebrations...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showing the ink mark on his finger after casting vote for Lok Sabha...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

Residents trying to salvage their belongings after a massive fire gutted their houses in Patna...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

A honeybee ‘caught’ by a ‘len’s eye’ while feeding on nectar...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Labourers thrash cornflower stalks in a field during morning hours near Vrindavan...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh offers floral tribute at Khomjam War Memorial Complex...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

In this Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Olivia Wilde, and Jason Sudeikis arrive at the ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, attend a reception ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523