…Says John Craig Venter, an American biologist, credited with the success of introducing the first ever synthetic cell in the realms of nature. Why not? He has the reasons to back the same. He is the first ever father to a newly born artificial, self-replicating bacterial cell. Proudly named the baby after the pioneer genome research institute, as Mycoplasma myocides JCVI-syn 1.0, he has laid down the very principle of a life that can be generated in a computer, crafted in a laboratory and survive in nature as a real one with the exceptional manipulative skills controlled by the inserted artificial genome( a unique code that determines the genetic traits in a person). With his rich vision, he longs for big time wonders.A world without any dependency on fuels, healthy life with an increased average of more than 80 years, revolutionized medicine with miracle drugs to boost immunity in humans by exploiting and controlling the very own notorious microbes known to cause serious health threats to the human communities world over.

We have seen it happening in Sci-fi movies, scientists playing the God theme and world dancing to their tunes, to capitalize this ominous power to control and manipulate life, creating an ethical dilemma for ambitious creators and benefactors. Usually,the  reel- action settles the debate in favor of a protagonist opposing such imposed advances in nature, restoring the balance and giving command back to nature, to lead as origin of all creations.

This remarkable achievement of replacing the unique, natural genetic code with the one synthesized by humans in the sophisticated life-tubes can prove to be a game changer in the world of medicinal-industrial revolution. Though a lot to be achieved yet in order to claim and back even bigger statements of actually creating the full-fledged life, the nature-science equation seems to be re-set, weighing positive connotations over the negative ones.

Followed by Ethics Vs Growth, Man Vs God and Nature Vs Science debate, the  challenge on the front is to strategically implement it to the benefits of mankind evading all possibilities of any bio-terrorism attacks, optimized, feasible costs to economies and commercial misuse by over-patenting through exclusive IPR keeping in mind the nature and size of the breakthrough.

I wonder what conclusions could be drawn from this real-life action? Parallel worlds of science and nature whenever interfaced, they resulted in interesting achievements to surface leading to further elongation of their territories. Science would never stop to surprise us in bringing on the table, the power to exploit basic life-science concepts, and converting the same into wonders with the aid of applied biotechnology. Nature, on other hand leads the score by destroying and weakening the established doctrines, settling accommodative and odd combinations to push the scientists back to square one.

From the times when success in handling an empire meant strategic architecture to keep the technology invisible to today’s rush in recording the breakthroughs and patenting them, bolster it to a level to entertain monopolies, science has successfully defied the boundaries of human reasoning with its creative, constructive theories. It is indeed, a beautiful invention!

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2 thoughts on “It’s a beautiful(artificial) life!…

  1. I believe this is the most important breakthrough in science since the development of the 1st vaccine. Although the moral and ethical hurdles that will have to be overcome are many and great, the potential for advances in medicine and the work synthetic genomics is doing to create microbes to clean the air and water (although I haven’t quite figured out how you would stop a carbon/light eating bacteria that excretes hydrocabons from eating all carbon e.g. animals) will be well worth it in the end. In the mean time it looks like I need to go back to school for microbiology and commercialize babies. Can you imagine being able to pick the hair/eye/skin color of you baby and being able to remove all predisposures to disease and deformities! Some may call it playing God, I call it enhancing the human race. On the other side of the my brain there is the whole world of possible problems this would create. The majority of the work that is being done within this field deals with bacteria. Lets look at a few traits of bacteria. Many strains of bacteria reproduce extremely quickly, faster than all other lifeforms, which also makes bacteria the fastest evolving and mutating organisms on the planet. Alot of the super strains of bacteria that are killing people across the globe are mutations of previously harmless or mildly pathogenic bacterias. Whose to say that if we create this carbon eating bacteria that only eats CO2/light wouldn’t evolve into an organism that eats carbon/light? Being made of carbon this is a little unnerving. Another problem is by creating organisms that haven’t ever before been seen on the planet we are opening ourselves up to infections/diseases that we will have no immunity for. Remember your body has evolved to be able to fight off the bacterias/molds/fungi of our planet over thousands of years and the only thing keeping us all alive is that immunity. I can see it now, flesh eating bacteria sweeping the globe with no means of prevention other than a nice bio suit. They have them on sale on aisle six 😉 I just hope it doesn’t happen in my lifetime.

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