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Synthetic Copycat Of Living Cell Underway: Life, But Not As We Know It? - Comments

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 1 by mordacious1

Uh oh. Synthetic biology. This ain't gonna make the xians happy.

It's the devil's work.

Thu, 29 May 2008 19:08:00 UTC | #176741

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 2 by dragonfirematrix

This is fasinating news. Science is moving very fast. I love the idea (to quote the article) of "aims to promote blue sky, curiosity-led research."

Science is learning so much. I am anxious to hear the news the day science creates life.

I often imagine how far more advanced humanity would be if the money spent (for example) on Abrahamic hate, wars, and oppression was directed instead to science. I venture to say we would be thousands of years ahead of where we are now.

Thu, 29 May 2008 19:09:00 UTC | #176742

Geodesic17's Avatar Comment 3 by Geodesic17

One step closer to a race of Cylons...

Thu, 29 May 2008 19:22:00 UTC | #176746

King of NH's Avatar Comment 4 by King of NH

This is awesome. I know that [insulting word for theists] will go on about the terrorist uses for this: bio weapons and such. But there is true life saving potential here. I am very excited. Wow, just wow.

Thu, 29 May 2008 19:44:00 UTC | #176750

Null-T's Avatar Comment 5 by Null-T

So when synthetic life is finally created, will humans create a book of holy texts for it?

Thu, 29 May 2008 20:03:00 UTC | #176753

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 6 by HourglassMemory

Step by step, we get closer to creating a complete synthetic life form.

About bio weapons, I bet creating a new being isn't an easy task. And you have to do it in group I would presume.
For this sort of bio terrorism you'd have to have acess to top scientific facilities, usually replete with people who are not particularly religious. You'd have to work with people who wouldn't be against you enginneering a living being that would be harmful to ALL human beings.
Try to engineer a being who only harms infidels... Yeah...Nature works like that all the time.
And on top of that, you have to put in your mind that you're doing the work of god by actually manipulating his creation in a way that for most fundamentalists, goes too far.
Craig Venter is involved in this sort of thing. Do you think he'd allow a believer to go that insane when he could do something about it?

I think it's more likely that bio engeneering will create ways to solve and protect populations from bioterrorism, than actually be part of it.

Of course we could create a synthetic life form and the thing could accidentally spread and mutate and kill living beings like never seen on this planet. But that's not terrorism, that's clumsiness.

But the people who will create it, some day, won't be stupid and overlook that.
Could terrorists have access to these things? Sure, but would they have the brains? And the mentality to do it?
It's not like they could take hostages of the scientists and remain there for weeks as the being got constructed.

All we need to worry about is to have these facilities well protected.

Thu, 29 May 2008 20:06:00 UTC | #176756

King of NH's Avatar Comment 7 by King of NH

HourglassMemory,

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.

Could terrorists creat bio-weapons with this technology? I agree, sure, but not likely enough to cause concern. But my very real fear is the other question: Can stupid people rally and get this technology banned from further study by propagating the fear of terrorism? Some people think of movies, such as "I Am Legend" as having a true and prophetic message, as opposed to a thought inspiring but overall entertaining message. Stupid, or innocently ignorant people can stop the research, which is probably worse than terrorists using the research. That is my fear.

Thu, 29 May 2008 21:29:00 UTC | #176767

Sh!fty's Avatar Comment 8 by Sh!fty

Comment by dragonfirematrix:

Science is learning so much. I am anxious to hear the news the day science creates life.


Interesting, that made me think of Dawkins' phrase : "Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it." What would this life think if it evolves and asks about its creation? I know he doesn't mean that but still.

Comment by dragonfirematrix
I often imagine how far more advanced humanity would be if the money spent (for example) on Abrahamic hate, wars, and oppression was directed instead to science. I venture to say we would be thousands of years ahead of where we are now.


**nods**

Thu, 29 May 2008 22:18:00 UTC | #176777

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 9 by Diacanu

mordacious1-


Uh oh. Synthetic biology. This ain't gonna make the xians happy.


Then it's literally impossible to make xians happy, because tissue grafts from synthetic cells would be the surefire showstopper to the ethical debate over stemcells.

So um...if they object um....fuck 'em.
*Shrug*
People who can't be apeased need to be ignored.

Thu, 29 May 2008 22:42:00 UTC | #176782

ACJames's Avatar Comment 10 by ACJames

They'll hate it until it saves their bodily lives.

Kinda like how they publicly dismiss science and medicine, but when its serious, they come home to their mama's.

Science is the only way to answer a prayer.

Thu, 29 May 2008 22:58:00 UTC | #176786

LaTomate's Avatar Comment 11 by LaTomate

Comment #186209 by Sh!fty on May 29, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Interesting, that made me think of Dawkins' phrase : "Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it." What would this life think if it evolves and asks about its creation? I know he doesn't mean that but still.


I think that's what Prof. Dawkins meant when he said that perhaps Earth had been seeded by aliens but that that doesn't explain everything, that we would need an explanation for them too. The Creationists made fun of him for that - "what he refuses God but accepts aliens!?!" As usual they have no clue :/

Fri, 30 May 2008 01:19:00 UTC | #176804

Corylus's Avatar Comment 12 by Corylus

A short article, but I am sure one that would not exist without a huge amount of work and study.

Congrats to all involved.

Fri, 30 May 2008 01:22:00 UTC | #176806

phil rimmer's Avatar Comment 13 by phil rimmer

This is excellent news and very encouraging in our endless quest to reduce harm to others.

My taxes paid for this. Yay!

(OK 30 million others contributed as well.)

Fri, 30 May 2008 01:43:00 UTC | #176819

GBile's Avatar Comment 14 by GBile

The minimum what these creatures should be obliged to do is to bow 5 times a day in the direction of Nottingham and to sing songs of praise for the mighty Cameron on sundays. Otherwise, to hell with them.

Fri, 30 May 2008 01:56:00 UTC | #176827

j.mills's Avatar Comment 15 by j.mills

Honestly, aren't there enough cells in the world already? Skin cells, brain cells, stem cells, sex sells, terrorist cells, death sells, Microsoft Excels, selsa dip?

It's really just a capsule, a shell. Doesn't say what scale the picture is. Blue hot dogs could be very marketable. "Synthetic cell shell sells!"

Fri, 30 May 2008 02:17:00 UTC | #176838

bamboospitfire's Avatar Comment 16 by bamboospitfire

I don't think polymer vesicles are anything new. Tony Ryan at Sheffield university has been working on this stuff for years.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/chemistry/staff/profiles/ryan.html

I attended a lecture at the Royal Institution on the very subject in March this year. As far as I can see, Ryan has already cracked the vesicle issue, including DNA delivery into cell nuclei, and has also found a way of propelling nano vesicles across solution gradients.

Fri, 30 May 2008 02:22:00 UTC | #176841

HitbLade's Avatar Comment 18 by HitbLade

Can I create a lifeform too? I wanna be a GOD!

Fri, 30 May 2008 03:33:00 UTC | #176854

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 19 by KRKBAB

Those "capsule like structures" look too clean and perfect. I want to see some dirt and fuzz on 'em. Then I'll get excited. Hey KING OF NH- I live in NEW England (Maine), not England, so does the NH stand for what I think it does, or is it something like Notting- Ham? or something like New Hinklebottomshire?

Fri, 30 May 2008 03:38:00 UTC | #176856

Johnny O's Avatar Comment 20 by Johnny O

Hey KING OF NH- I live in NEW England (Maine), not England, so does the NH stand for what I think it does, or is it something like Notting- Ham? or something like New Hinklebottomshire?

Have you ever visited New Hinklebottomshire? There's nothing like a warm pint of Old Toby's Scrote down at the Flange and Mirkin...

Fri, 30 May 2008 04:33:00 UTC | #176867

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 21 by DamnDirtyApe

All that nonsense about not allowing intelligent design in universities. This work IS intelligent design. After all, those guys used their intelligence to design it :D

How'd you like them apples Stein!

Fri, 30 May 2008 04:58:00 UTC | #176871

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 22 by rod-the-farmer

Good point, DamnDirtyApe

Fri, 30 May 2008 05:18:00 UTC | #176877

Silvia's Avatar Comment 23 by Silvia

I've been lurking here for almost one year, but now I really felt I should register and tell you how happy Brasilian people are that the Supreme Court of our country decided that stem cell research is allowed by Constitution with no restrictions, against the lobby of the Roman catholic Church. Even conservative papers and media were favorable to science in this case and the letters sent to papers by readers on that matter are mostly congratulatory.

Fri, 30 May 2008 09:29:00 UTC | #177028

dloubet's Avatar Comment 24 by dloubet

Hey! You said Cylon as if it's a BAD thing.

Where's my perfect robot body?

And my flying car?

Dammit.

Fri, 30 May 2008 09:54:00 UTC | #177039

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 25 by Diacanu

KRKBAB-


Those "capsule like structures" look too clean and perfect.


I dunno, maybe that's good.
Maybe the blue cheese doodles will do a better job when they inherit the earth.

Oh and welcome, fellow Mainuh.
;)

Fri, 30 May 2008 10:03:00 UTC | #177044

squinky's Avatar Comment 26 by squinky

Sounds like more hype than science.

The breakthrough could have a number of potential medical uses. Among them could be the development of new targeted drug delivery systems, where the capsules would be used to carry drug molecules to attack specific diseased cells in the body, while leaving healthy cells intact, thereby reducing the number of side affects that can be associated with treatments for life-threatening illnesses such as cancer. The technology could also be used as an anti-microbial agent, allowing doctors to destroy harmful bacteria, without attacking other health-promoting bacteria in the body, which could offer a new weapon in the fight against superbugs.


Sigh! Whatever polymer-fantasy-molecular transfer man

Fri, 30 May 2008 18:36:00 UTC | #177145

bamboospitfire's Avatar Comment 27 by bamboospitfire

squinky - as I mentioned above, Tony Ryan has already used smart polymer vesicles to deliver DNA coding directly into cell nuclei and I understand he has won an OBE for his polymer work. It's certainly not fantasy, although the method by which the vesicles transport DNA strands through cell membranes and into the nuclei (based on the polymer's reaction to variations in pH) is so damn clever it almost seems too good to be true.

Here are some other useful links.

http://www.cbte.group.shef.ac.uk/research/mat9.html

http://www.shef.ac.uk/materials/staff/gbattaglia.html

Mon, 02 Jun 2008 01:13:00 UTC | #177882