A scientist has built a living bacterium from four bottles of chemicals. Biologist Craig Venter took the natural bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium and replaced its genetic structure with DNA they created from the chemicals.
The Daily Mail quotes Venter as saying, "We consider this the second in significant steps of a three-step process in our attempts to make the first synthetic organism. This entire process started with four bottles of chemicals."
The ultimate goal is to create life-forms that can be genetically programmed to perform specific, useful jobs (such as cleaning up oil spills--NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).
Using these techniques, it might one day be possible to produce flowers designed to bloom on your birthday. The Daily Mail quote Venter as saying, "We could enter into a new design phase of biology."
Not only that, some researchers think that artificially created life--including robots--will be the driving force of the next industrial revolution.
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