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Craig Venter on Synthetic Life

Synthetic life is a controversial subject. But a breakthrough has just recently been made which is sure to stoke more controversy on the subject.

Below is a video of Craig Venter talking about the Synthetic Life project and breakthrough. It’s pretty technical stuff and more about process than anything else. So you have to wade through a lot of stuff to get the key kernels from his announcement.

Underneath the video, I have provided a few links on the topic which give a better overview of the accomplishment and controversy.  As for the video, I thought the part at the 9-minute mark about the transplanting of the chromosome was interesting. He says that one error in one million sent them back to the drawing board. But, then other parts of the chromosome sequence can be riddled with errors and have no effect. So, in parts of our genetic DNA, accuracy is very important; in other parts, he matters much less. Interesting stuff.

Obviously, there are the ethical concerns about manipulating or manufacturing life. But, more than that, are we monkeying around with stuff that we just don’t understand? What, if any, are the dangers in what Venter and his team are doing?

Sources

Synthetic life โ€“ Wikipedia

Craig Venter – Wikipedia

Scientists Reach Milestone On Way To Artificial Life โ€“ NPR

First lab-created organism raises ethical questions โ€“ Philadelphia Daily News

About 

Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.