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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Artificial life possible "within five years"

Many scientists are predicting that synthetic life is going to be a reality within the next five to ten years. Geneticists have already created an artificial ribosome (a cell structure responsible for protein manufacturing) and the consensus is that a full-blown cell is just around the corner.

Color me "meh". I'd love to read the journals on what's going into this effort. It's one thing to replicate structure and function. But real life is much more than that. I wanna see how much "genuine" life is being used as the raw material in this thing, before judging that a real breakthrough is happening.

And while we're on the subject: I know the scientists involved are proud of their work, and their belief that they could create life. But does anyone else wonder if they should be doing it? All kinds of crazy scenarios come to mind. Maybe even something like I Am Legend (the book not the "movie").