( via TED-Blog)
Die Headline klingt schon wie ein Lem-Roman, ist aber butt-serious Science: Wissenschaftler haben künstliches Leben erschaffen und digital erzeugte DNA in ein Zellgerüst gegeben, die sich selbst repliziert und lebt. Die Zelle ist zwar nicht komplett künstlich geschaffen (das kommt mit 3D-Organprintern aber auch noch), aber Frankensteins Monster haben sie auch aus Biomaterial zusammengebaut, passt scho. Mary Shelley has been digitally proved.
Oben die Original-Pressekonferenz mit Craig Venter:
At a press event in Washington, DC, Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.
Hier noch Edge.com dazu: On „Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome“ by Venter et al.
On May 20th, J. Craig Venter and his team at J.C Venter Institute announced the creation of a cell controlled by a synthetic genome in a paper published in SCIENCE. As science historian George Dyson points out, "from the point of view of technology, a code generated within a digital computer is now self-replicating as the genome of a line of living cells. From the point of view of biology, a code generated by a living organism has been translated into a digital representation for replication, editing, and transmission to other cells."
This new development is all about operating on a large scale. "Reading the genetic code of a wide range of species," the paper says, "has increased exponentially from these early studies. Our ability to rapidly digitize genomic information has increased by more than eight orders of magnitude over the past 25 years." This is a big scaling up in our technological abilities. Physicist Freeman Dyson, commenting on the paper, notes that "the sequencing and synthesizing of DNA give us all the tools we need to create new forms of life." But it remains to be seen how it will serve in practice.