Thursday, May 20, 2010

Artificial life?

Once they "get" the basic idea of molecular genetics, my A&P students become fascinated with those teeny-weeny molecules can have such huge impacts on the structure and function of the body.  On the drive home from campus today, I heard a great story on NPR about the announcement by Craig Venter that his team has successfully created a living, reproducing cell using completely synthetic DNA.  

They did this by using yeast cells to assemble smaller, synthesized bits of DNA and transferring it to living cells, which then reproduced the genome in offspring cells. 

While this is a long way from the claims (and concerns) of "creating artificial life," it is a huge discovery.

If you want to hear more about this, listen to the story yourself at Scientists Reach Milestone On Way to Artificial Life.


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