With this news, it appears that now we can do all the creating we want – no god needed.
After almost 15 years of work and $40 million, a team of scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute says they have succeeded in creating the first living organism with a completely synthetic genome. This advance could be proof that genomes designed in a computer and assembled in a lab can function in a donor cell, eventually reproducing fully functional living creatures, that is, artificial life.
What strikes me about this is the fact that it can be done. Previously, it was thought that such a thing could only come from a Creator. Well, it looks like there’s another creator on the block. Move over Genesis, there’s another book to be written.
I wish I understood the science, though I get a good sense of what was done here.
To create the genomes, Gibson and his colleagues used yeast to glue together thousands of DNA snippets, each containing 1,080 base pairs, which they ordered from another lab. To assist in assembly, each section of DNA contained 80 base pairs at every end that instructed the yeast where to join the two strands.
Slowly, the DNA strands came together in runs of tens of thousands of base pairs, and then hundreds of thousands, until the yeast produced a complete 1,080,000-base-pair synthetic genome.
So, what good is it? It’s hard to say so early in the game, but
Synthetic bacteria have tantalized scientists for years with the promise of bacterial cultures with computer designed genomes producing custom enzymes, fuels and medications cheaply and efficiently.
I wonder how long it will before the religious wacko nuts come out of the woodwork claiming that we shouldn’t be doing this, because we’re not gods, and this type of creation is solely within the province of their Lord. That’s one of the arguments they use to stop science in the area of stem cell research. The irony is that the mere fact that it can and has been done, takes some of the mystery out of his Lordship’s monopoly on creation.