This is what artificial life supposedly looks like. The blue shows bacterial colonies created from synthetic DNA.
The US Scientists who made the Frankensteinesque break through, said the new microbe behaves in a consistent manner with life.
1:16 sot Craig Venter. President of J. Craig Venter Institute:
“This is actually the first time ever we’ve had a synthetic cell from a synthetic chromosome. So, the chromosome was assembled starting with four bottles of chemicals assembled in yeast, transplanted from yeast to a recipient baterial cell, and the that bacterial cell transformed into a whole new cell based on what was in the synthetic genome.”
1:40 Mycoplasme mycoïde
The starting point of the creation was a synthetic bacterial cell, the so called Mycoplasma mycoïde. Information of its DNA was copied by the scientists and combined with 4 chemical substances.
1:48 copie du génome et fabrication synthetique
1:59 Mycoplasme capricolum
Afterwards, it was planted in another bacterial cell which had already been stripped of its genome.
2:07 Mycoplasme mycoïde JCVI-syn1.0
The result was a new bacteria, which was able to replicate itself like other living organisms.
The pioneers say the landmark discovery will have major benefits. The team is already working on synthetic algae, capable of capturing CO2 to produce cleaner fuels. But critics argue there could be hidden dangers.
2:33 sot Jennifer Miller. Director of Bioethics International:
“With the emergency of any technology, you alwys have to look at the benefits and risks. So, some of the concerns or the risks that the technology lands in the hands of somebody with questionable ethics, such as a bio-terrorist. Less controversial, are huge or subtle risks, such as, we don’t know what will happen with these novel organisms, or even novel species in the future, once they’re released into nature.”
2:59 labo et images synthese
Some fear the discovery, which took 15 years and cost more than 30 million euros, could open a genetic pandoras box.
The White House has ordered a report.