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I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer - Comments

chauvinj's Avatar Comment 1 by chauvinj

Wow....

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 21:37:00 UTC | #72811

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 2 by irate_atheist

Most impressive.

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 22:23:00 UTC | #72820

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 3 by BAEOZ

Will Mr. Venter receive a cease and desist letter from god's attorneys anytime soon for infringement of patents and IP?

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 23:28:00 UTC | #72834

smartypants's Avatar Comment 4 by smartypants

Wait and see how another goal-posts is going to be moved by the religious to accommodate this.

Fri, 05 Oct 2007 23:53:00 UTC | #72841

Shane McKee's Avatar Comment 5 by Shane McKee

Intelligent Design is the hard way; evolution is the easy way. This is not new science, but could prove useful some day.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 00:22:00 UTC | #72849

MaxieZ's Avatar Comment 6 by MaxieZ

Is it wrong to be just a touch worried about this? It's not an ethical concern I have as much as a humanist concern. For example...let's say we create a bacteria that eats co2 or methane to prevent future global warming. What happens when the tilt goes the other way and plants that we need start dying? Do we create new living things that eat the things we created?

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly?

Maybe I'm being paranoid...

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 01:24:00 UTC | #72868

Jiten's Avatar Comment 7 by Jiten

Long into the future Craig Venter will be looked on as the Intelligent Designer by the future life-forms,descendents of his artificially designed organisms.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 01:24:00 UTC | #72869

dvespertilio's Avatar Comment 8 by dvespertilio

Goodbye, Nature. Hello, brave new world. Are we not on the threshold of redefining both our humanity and the natural world in which we live?

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 01:41:00 UTC | #72872

rokort's Avatar Comment 9 by rokort

We cross lifestock to get cows that produce more milk or meat. We radiate vegetables in a search for bigger and tastier ones. In other words: we introduce mutations to select for animals and greens that yield more profit. We don't know what we mutate, just as long we get more bang for our buck regarding the end-product. No problemo here (well, i don't see any large scale protesting).

Now when somebody in a highly controled setting makes an organism or something alike suddenly there's worry? I think Craig Venter is truly at the cutting edge of what science can deliver: solutions to problems.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 04:01:00 UTC | #72894

MaxieZ's Avatar Comment 10 by MaxieZ

I have no objection to the science here. I think it's amazing and I certainly think Craig Venter deserves a great deal of respect. I just fear it could be dangerous if not properly used. We still don't know a lot about all the varying dependencies in a given ecosystem. and I can't help but feel that introducing a new species into nature is on par with allowing one to go extinct. I could be wrong.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 06:52:00 UTC | #72917

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 11 by Steve Zara

Goodbye, Nature. Hello, brave new world. Are we not on the threshold of redefining both our humanity and the natural world in which we live?


No, we aren't. The true shock was hundreds of years ago when a chemist made the biological substance urea in the laboratory. This showed that life was chemistry. What Venter is doing now is an inevitable consequence of that event.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 07:27:00 UTC | #72920

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 12 by Enlightenme..

I thought insulin manufacture had been using this technique for years already?

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 08:07:00 UTC | #72927

GBG's Avatar Comment 13 by GBG

No doubt we will get some bizarre rationalisation from the religious that allows them to carry on believing primitive myths in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 08:13:00 UTC | #72928

ironwidget's Avatar Comment 14 by ironwidget

insulin was made by transferring preexisting genetic information into bacteria. Craig Venter has gone one step further by actually constructing his own chromosome from its base materials, theoretically this technology will enable us to create genetic code for anything we want to.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 08:14:00 UTC | #72929

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 15 by Enlightenme..

It's all a bit scary really, this sort of power wouldn't mix too well with end-timer belief.

The Andromeda strain was on telly last week (one of my favourites)

Perhaps this is the reason we can't hear any other civilisations out there - the last parameter of the Drake 'equation' is only around 200 years or so.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 10:56:00 UTC | #72964

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 16 by BAEOZ

smartypants:

Wait and see how another goal-posts is going to be moved by the religious to accommodate this.

GBG:
No doubt we will get some bizarre rationalisation from the religious that allows them to carry on believing primitive myths in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.


Found this:
http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2007/10/06/ciencia/1191695534.html?a=c403d05e1c6dd3cf6cfc9ea3c16ab680&t=1191699915

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO.- "Lo que ha logrado -John Craig Venter- es un organismo genéticamente modificado de algo que ya existía, no la creación de un nuevo organismo", ha explicado el genetista católico Angelo Vescovia a Radio Vaticano, preguntado sobre el polémico anuncio de la creación del primer cromosoma sintético del científico estadounidense.

"No ha descubierto absolutamente nada de nuevo", señaló Vescovia, del 'Istituto San Raffaele' de Milán. Según el genetista italiano, este avance no se trata de un descubrimiento "que abra nuevas perspectivas para hacer cosas actualmente impensables".


Oh you want a translation? Only if you pay me.....


Vatican City. - "What he's achieved - John Craig Venter - is a genetically modified organism of something that already existed, not the creation of a new organism", the catholic geneticist Angelo Vescovia explained to Vatican Radio, when asked about the polemic announcement of the creation of the first synthetic chromosome by the American scientist.
"He absolutely hasn't discovered anything new", signaled Vescovia, from the 'Institute of San Raffaele' in Milan. According to the Italian geneticist, this advance is not a discovery "that opens new perspectives to create unthinkable things right now."


So there you have from the Vatican: Steady as she goes. Could someone please rearrange the deck chairs? They seem to be transubstantiating into water.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 11:58:00 UTC | #72986

BaronOchs's Avatar Comment 17 by BaronOchs

BAEOZ that's interesting, does catholic teaching actually insist the creation of a new organism must be impossible?

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 12:05:00 UTC | #72989

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 18 by Steve Zara

It's all a bit scary really, this sort of power wouldn't mix too well with end-timer belief.


It is worth considering that there is probably not much that Venter could invent in the lab that has not been tried by evolution over billions of years.

The Andromeda strain was on telly last week (one of my favourites)


And I am afraid to say that like most work by Michael Chrichton it is very poor science.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 12:13:00 UTC | #72994

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 19 by BAEOZ

BaronOchs:

does catholic teaching actually insist the creation of a new organism must be impossible?

I honestly have no idea. Catholics are good at accommodating science whilst maintaining that god somehow did it (I was raised a catholic, so I have some idea but an not an expert.)
I could easily imagine them saying that god "inspired the hand" of a scientist who created a new organism. Problem solved.
Other Christians might say Satan "inspired the hand" and new life would be the devils work. In any case, I'm pretty sure it can be accommodated into a theistic world view.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 12:15:00 UTC | #72995

BaronOchs's Avatar Comment 20 by BaronOchs

BAEOZ perhaps Angelo Vescovia deliberately played down the result for the Vatican Radio audience?

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 13:05:00 UTC | #73001

a-teapot-ist's Avatar Comment 21 by a-teapot-ist

I hope Dr. Venter's lab has some strong security measures, because if there are maniacs willing to kill abortion doctors, there certainly will be similarly "passionate objectors" to this latest development. In truth, if the agricultural revolution wasn't already a leap into god's domain, I'd like to know what is. So long as they've prepared for whatever possible consequences lie ahead, I say run with it as far as they can.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 13:06:00 UTC | #73003

BAEOZ's Avatar Comment 22 by BAEOZ

Richard, you mammal. Man, haven't seen a pair of mammaries like that, in well, in a long time. I see you've also had work done on other parts of you physiology. A name change may be in order.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 17:42:00 UTC | #73061

max_29's Avatar Comment 23 by max_29

You know how far this will go with creationists. Its a great achievement. But I see it spiraling down to "Who created subatomic particles"
Dam! I always gave up in the face mad religious types.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 18:06:00 UTC | #73062

max_29's Avatar Comment 24 by max_29

Thanks. I stole it. Yours has greater appeal somehow.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 19:35:00 UTC | #73069

max_29's Avatar Comment 25 by max_29

My guess is it will be difficult to produce an original organism that would be resilient to our hostile environment.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 19:58:00 UTC | #73071

DNAtheist's Avatar Comment 26 by DNAtheist

Indeed you did steal it, Max29. You stole it from me. That is very annoying since I spent a considerable amount of time designing it. Please find your own avatar, not one of my old ones.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 20:27:00 UTC | #73074

Goldy's Avatar Comment 27 by Goldy

Richard Morgan, you da man! Yes, England beat Oz (teach that coach to say how much Australians hate the English!...was it the coach?) and here in NZ I shall wear my England shirt with pride and answer all those emails I have been sent

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 20:57:00 UTC | #73077

Goldy's Avatar Comment 28 by Goldy

Oooops, sent too soon - emails how the ABs will win the cup this year!

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 20:59:00 UTC | #73078

max_29's Avatar Comment 29 by max_29

Sorry for offending you DNAtheist.

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 21:31:00 UTC | #73079

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 30 by Robert Maynard

Aw man, I missed it! What did your old avatar look like?

Sat, 06 Oct 2007 22:01:00 UTC | #73080