Synthetic designer life poses new questions in ethics, science, and biology.
What I love about these assertions is that few people realize that we have been altering the Biology of our surroundings FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. The whole field of agriculture is about interrupting the process of natural selection in order to meet our needs or wants. THAT too is "genetic engineering".
The only thing new about this is that it's a new method on a previously less-explored organism. Other groups are working on simply supplanting existing genomes with new synthetic sequences, this is only different because they're discarding the original sequence in the cell completely. We have been engineering tailored plants, animals, and enzymes for millennia. But bacteria have only been genetically engineered in some way over the past 80 years.
The large hole in his proposal is that we still don't really understand how to create a new altered genetic sequence so that it accomplishes what we want it to. He's completely glossing over that. That could be more than 50 years off. But even if they do accomplish it IT WILL NOT BE AN ECONOMICALLY VIABLE OPTION. Primarily because it's just not going to be efficient enough no matter what kind of input you give it, you still have to have the input and the process of converting the input to the output is expensive.
Processing sugar is expensive, because sugar is expensive.
Processing Co2 is expensive, because the conversion process is not efficient.
Petroleum had the benefit of millions of years of refinement/enrichment/condensation. It's been cheap because you only have to pump it out of the ground and distill it.
Personally, I see a vehicle that can recycle it's own emissions in the distant future.
Yeah, it's called a "battery electric vehicle". They're 92% recyclable and 85% more efficient in terms of pollution output.
Only downside is that the Lithium-Ion battery industry isn't big enough to meet demand right now. But that problem would go away overnight if someone signed a huge enough contract with a company to supply them.
Bio-Fuels are RETARDED in terms of how much effort/pollution is needed to produce them compared to all other alternatives. The promises of Bio-Fuels are empty pipe dreams with huge and unavoidable ignored costs.
Edited by CaptainSlug, 25 April 2008 - 11:12 AM.
The little critters of nature, they don't know that they're ugly. That's very funny, a fly marrying a bumble bee. I told you I'd shoot, but you didn't believe me. Why didn't you believe me?