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The Verge Of Synthetic Life


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#1 Richomundo

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:59 PM

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/227

This guy remaps the genome of a bacteria to reprogram it for whatever means science may have for it.

Synthetic designer life poses new questions in ethics, science, and biology.

Ethical implications aside, what are some of your impressions of the talk? For yourself? The Future?

Personally, I see a vehicle that can recycle it's own emissions in the distant future.

For some of you this will be over your head, for others, it will be an intriguing insight into the future of biology and 'designer' bacteria.

Edited by Richomundo, 24 April 2008 - 08:00 PM.

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#2 Ubermensch

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 08:06 PM

In some ways, designer life could definitely change the gene pool, the ecosystem, and the flow of nature all together.

Man, I'm a hippie.
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#3 Lynx

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:22 PM

Goddamn, NERF producing cells!

No more stock darts for me!

So basically, they found the organisms that can create octane (gas) from CO2. This means that if they can read that genetic code and put it in a "blank organism" we can have cars that run off of themselves with a little converter!

Holy shit, my grandkids can live! (I'm in high school)
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#4 Thom

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:54 PM

So basically, they found the organisms that can create octane (gas) from CO2. This means that if they can read that genetic code and put it in a "blank organism" we can have cars that run off of themselves with a little converter!

http://en.wikipedia...._thermodynamics
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#5 Lynx

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:56 PM

Of course it wouldn't have 100% efficiency, but it would be better than we have now.
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#6 jwasko

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 12:03 AM

You guys are just finding this out now? Granted, I didn't know everything contained in the video, but still I've known about using bacteria to synthesize molecules for a while now.

Anyways, the most incredible thing (to me) is that they were able to synthesize 500-pair-long (if I remember correctly) chromosomes so accurately. I mean, it can be hard enough just getting two molecules to react the way you want them to.

And I hate that guy with the British (?) accent; I mean, seriously, "bugs?" :blink:
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#7 Richomundo

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:06 AM

Some of you are misinterpreting what is going on.

They have blank cells, they inject a synthesized DNA strand, created from scratch, and then boot up an organism with no prior DNA or sex sequence. Every aspect of this is man-made from chemicals.

They aren't "finding" these bacteria, they're creating them from chemicals, programming the DNA precisely how they want and bringing their creatures to life.

Literally creating life.

Some really incredible pieces of info I heard that he passed so nonchalantly are :

1) life does exist in outer space, it actively searches for an aqueous solution and NASA has shown this to be true.
2) the DNA strands have the capability to repair themselves after being obliterated given 12-24 hours time
3) they're able to synthesize strands 500 characters long

The face of modern science and biology has changed.

Edited by Richomundo, 25 April 2008 - 01:07 AM.

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#8 Z-man12

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:33 AM

Some really incredible pieces of info I heard that he passed so nonchalantly are :

1) life does exist in outer space, it actively searches for an aqueous solution and NASA has shown this to be true.
2) the DNA strands have the capability to repair themselves after being obliterated given 12-24 hours time
3) they're able to synthesize strands 500 characters long

The face of modern science and biology has changed.


I am going to have to say my bit here, I just can't stand the lack of your research. Your the one misinterperting some points.
So here I go
1. - In respone to one, almost all genetic and bilogical scientest do not really expect life to exisist, and most of those that do expect it to be single celled or "lower" classe life. Also most people who deal with astronomy or astrophysics know that the likely hood of life in most galxies and solar systems are VERY infentesmial. So slim that mathmaticlay its just not goingn to happen.
2. - If you actualy OBLITRATE DNA its not going to resturcture its self, you have trulybroken it down to the base level all you will have left are chimicals. NO ONE, let me repeat that, NO ONE has ever sucecced in creating DNA out of chimicals, PERIOD.
3. - I don't know so much about this last point but I would like to point out that 500 charaters is nothing comaprid to complex life forms. The human Genom project broke down human DNA to 150,000 smaller "simple parts" each consisting of MANY, MANY (several hundred I don't remember exact numbers) charaters. I can get an exact number dug up if you don't see the disperency of difference just on this superfucial level.

Ok thats it I'm done with my tyrade. I don't know how many of you are going to read that, and I don't care how many of you actualy understand it all or give it any crediace.

I will ackwnoladge that science can creat all kinds of Bio-spliced life, clone anmials, and grown organs. (Yes they can do that, the really simple ones.) But they can not creat life out of non-life IT JUST CANNOT BE DONE. Even with the techenology we have now, they can't do it. FACT.
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#9 Captain

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:19 AM

If we can create life, then we should combine man-made life forms with machines to make cyborgs, because cyborgs kick ass. (If you've ever played DOOM, then you'll know what I'm talking about) Just ignore the fact that cyborgs have no particular use, other than being awesome.
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#10 CaptainSlug

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:47 AM

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.

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/227
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.

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#11 imaseoulman

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 04:14 PM

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.


Amen.
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#12 Richomundo

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:51 PM

what bothers me about bio fuel and corn ethanol is that tons of farmers switched to corn production because it's a money maker, then paired with drought and

there is currently a rice shortage, for the first time rice is being rationed at wholesalers to 4 bags per customer.

http://www.sfgate.co.../BUUR10AOLH.DTL

rice is the main staple for people from cultures all over the world. It's an essential carbohydrate that when paired with beans is an excellent source of protein.
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#13 frost vectron

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 08:01 PM

Why eat food when we can burn it?

The worst thing about Biofuels is that we aren't gaining anything from producing it! The costs of fuel to actually grow and produce biofuel completely negates any gains in fuel from using it as an additive.
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#14 laxtk88

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 04:50 AM

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/227

This guy remaps the genome of a bacteria to reprogram it for whatever means science may have for it.


Didn't that happen in "I am Legend"? I believe it was a virus though.
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#15 Galaxy613

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:47 PM

Yeah, it was a virus that cures cancer... and turns you into a vampire. (If you read the book)
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#16 Thom

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 11:40 AM

Bio-ethanol isn't a bad power source. Just ask Brazil. Sugar cane doesn't grow here, though, and corn ethanol does suck.
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