If THIS doesn't scare you...!

  1. Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.

    Here's the link to the article:
  2. :wtf:

    OHHH MYYY... I can't even say much, but OH MY. That scares me.
  3. These issues are going to become more and more ethically complicated as genetic sciences become more advanced.

    There may come a time when we will have the technology and ability to genetically isolate things like SOCIOPATHY in unborn fetuses. How would you feel if you were told that your unborn baby would someday be a serial killer? What would you do? AND more frightening, how will SOCIETY as a whole handle this?

    Scary times peeps, scary times.
  4. To me, the technology itself is never scary. We cannot hold back science or make blanket decrees that such-and-such research is "bad" or illegal. New technologies can be used well or poorly, just like nuclear technology was. I think these new bacteria could be very useful or very dangerous, but we cannot stop them from being invented.

    Oh, and while I realize I am in a very slim minority, I think the ability to genetically engineer children (to eliminate diseases, for example) would be a good thing. I am aware of all the possible implications in people selecting for superficial things, but the good that could be done would far outweigh that, in my opinion. I do have children of my own, and with one of them tending towards PDD, yes, I might have changed something had I been able (of course I love him as he is, but no parent wishes hardship for their children).
  5. It doesn't scare me much. I embrace new biotechnology, not just in the context of this particular article but as a whole...but then again, I am a big fan of authors who explore this facet of science (applied to fiction, of course), such as Octavia Butler. Tampering with the human code has always been a passing fascination for me. I look at the possible benefits overall: eliminating deadly disease, creating a sturdier organism, etc. And don't get me started on lab-created tissues, especially if they are viable and can sustain humans as living organisms. If we could create a medically applicable artificial blood, for example, imagine the benefits! As far as a lot of these ideas are concerned we are not there yet and we probably won't be in my lifetime (especially the concept of a whole, artifically engineered biological replica of a human being), but if put to good use, technologies and research like this holds a lot of promise. But just by reading the article, I get the impression that what these particular scientists and biologists aspire to create is still in the very, very, very distant future.
  6. Any product with such obvious "military application" potential will be a sure money-maker for developers and manufacturers alike!
  7. I couldn't agree more - the problems with nuclear power, for instance (Chernobyl, Three Mile Island) had more to do with the monitoring systems (including human operators) than the fundamental power source. The Venter business scares me because he is a classic "DO IT NOW!" type: he rushed out an incomplete human genome just to beat the NIH, and I have a hunch that the "minimal" genetic information his lab put into his creation left out what used to be called "junk" DNA. Turns out there is accumulating evidence that the "junk" is what controls how and to what degree the genes are expressed in the organism.
  8. Scary...people should stop screwing around with genetics so much. Scientifically, it's interesting and all, but morally, god I don't even want to go there.
  9. I find your POV odd since your avatar picture is about darwin, (I love it BTW), I find the article pretty cool... but im a nerdy scientist :biggrin:
  10. Messing around like this really scares me. Just what will scientists have the power to create in years to come? I am all for fgenetic research to cure disease etc but actually creating artificial life scares the heck out of me!
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