Artificial Life created with Synthetic DNA – a major science milestone?

A team  led by Dr Craig Venter has announced what is potentially a huge genetics engineering breakthrough – using synthetic DNA to drive the reproductive processes of cells.     The team created a synthetic copy of real DNA, planted this back into a cell, and initiated a reproduction process based on the copy.

The potential of this technology is vast as it will eventually allow genetics engineering of organisms created to address specific needs such as pollution control.

Critics are worried that the technology also poses substantial risks since releasing synthetic organisms “into the wild” may lead to unintended and even catastrophic results.

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