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Old 05-21-2010, 12:01 AM   #1
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fuckin a, man

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...etic-life-form

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Scientists have created the world's first synthetic life form in a landmark experiment that paves the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved.

The controversial feat, which has occupied 20 scientists for more than 10 years at an estimated cost of $40m, was described by one researcher as "a defining moment in biology".

Craig Venter, the pioneering US geneticist behind the experiment, said the achievement heralds the dawn of a new era in which new life is made to benefit humanity, starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and even manufacture vaccines.

However critics, including some religious groups, condemned the work, with one organisation warning that artificial organisms could escape into the wild and cause environmental havoc or be turned into biological weapons. Others said Venter was playing God.

The new organism is based on an existing bacterium that causes mastitis in goats, but at its core is an entirely synthetic genome that was constructed from chemicals in the laboratory.

The single-celled organism has four "watermarks" written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and help trace its descendants back to their creator, should they go astray.

"We were ecstatic when the cells booted up with all the watermarks in place," Dr Venter told the Guardian. "It's a living species now, part of our planet's inventory of life."

Dr Venter's team developed a new code based on the four letters of the genetic code, G, T, C and A, that allowed them to draw on the whole alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks to write the watermarks. Anyone who cracks the code is invited to email an address written into the DNA.

The research is reported online today in the journal Science.

"This is an important step both scientifically and philosophically," Dr Venter told the journal. "It has certainly changed my views of definitions of life and how life works."

The team now plans to use the synthetic organism to work out the minimum number of genes needed for life to exist. From this, new microorganisms could be made by bolting on additional genes to produce useful chemicals, break down pollutants, or produce proteins for use in vaccines.

Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University, said: "Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity's history, potentially peeking into its destiny. He is not merely copying life artificially ... or modifying it radically by genetic engineering. He is going towards the role of a god: creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally."

This is "a defining moment in the history of biology and biotechnology", Mark Bedau, a philosopher at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, told Science.

Dr Venter became a controversial figure in the 1990s when he pitted his former company, Celera Genomics, against the publicly funded effort to sequence the human genome, the Human Genome Project. Venter had already applied for patents on more than 300 genes, raising concerns that the company might claim intellectual rights to the building blocks of life.

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Old 05-21-2010, 12:03 AM   #2
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:17 AM   #3
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why the fuck
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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The single-celled organism has four "watermarks" written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and help trace its descendants back to their creator, should they go astray.

damn.
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I'd let her slither my cock and then fuck her earlobe
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:49 AM   #5
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am i the only one who read the title as "fucking a man" instead of "fuckin a, man"

but wow. fuckin a, man.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:54 AM   #6
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am i the only one who read the title as "fucking a man" instead of "fuckin a, man"

but wow. fuckin a, man.
no, you're not. I thought this was going to be a step out of the closet thread for bot.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:55 AM   #7
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fixed it for ya
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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Brace for impact.
Hell yeah science.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:02 AM   #9
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I too thought this thread was going to be about gay sex.


We're all going to die.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:07 AM   #10
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At $30 million this isn't the easiest project to duplicate. Just shows it's possible.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:22 PM   #11
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am i the only one who read the title as "fucking a man" instead of "fuckin a, man"

but wow. fuckin a, man.
Absolutely
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O'er THE REEEEEEEEMMPPEERRTS WEE WEEEERRRCHHEDDDD WERE SER GEEEERRRLLLLLLLEEEERRRNNNTTLLLY STREEEMING
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old enough to count, old enough to mount
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:35 PM   #12
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I too thought this thread was going to be about gay sex.
Samesies. I am disappointed.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:25 PM   #13
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I've been reading into this a bit lately. While it's pricey, it still doesn't eliminate the threat that some mad elite scientists with a lot of secret society money aren't going to attempt to set a trail for the future Aryan race of some crazy genetic developer. Everything I just said sounded like a crackpot theory, and indeed it was supposed to, but in reality I don't have too much of a problem with news like this. The only part that bothers me is the fact that Venter is claiming rights to all these creations. While they technically were engineered by him and his team, I am more fearful of a money-driven hold on "life" than the ability to create it and potentially help and cure in the future.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:40 PM   #14
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I also am against patenting genes. Recently a company was blocked from claiming patents on the BRCA1/2 genes which are responsible for breast cancer. However if they want to patent this species, I doubt there will be any problem as it is entirely synthetic. They wouldn't hold patents on the genes contained within their organism, they would hold a patent on that specific organism as a whole.

A similar controversy came up recently regarding HeLa cells. If you don't know what they are, you fucking suck. If you were to gather all the HeLa cells in the world, you'd have more of Henrietta Lacks than the actual (now deceased) Henrietta Lacks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa

The industry has always been finding ways to create proprietary tools for research. To these companies, there needs to be a profit incentive. Unfortunately this does limit what gets done, although to be honest you can't go 4 days without some new form of technology being released. When they started the Human Genome Project, they gave themselves 10 years to finish. I think they did it in 4, because technology was moving so fast they could do substantially more in less time as years went by. It's even faster today. What took half a day now takes 15 minutes. Pop your samples into a cartridge, feed that into a machine, it does the rest.

Gene therapy is already a reality so if you're afraid someone is going to create some sort of ultra-human, watch more ESPN...

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Old 05-21-2010, 02:53 PM   #15
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my first fucking thought
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #16
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they should just make a million jessica albas and pass em out. i got no problem with that.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #17
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Maybe it's just because of my poor background, but this kind of stuff terrifies me. It seems like life is becoming more and more of an industry.

I mean, wtf

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starting with bacteria that churn out biofuels, soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and even manufacture vaccines.
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:44 PM   #18
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I'm really confident because it's the pharmaceutical and fuel companies that are backing these scientists which basically guarantees that this technology will be used morally and for the good of all of humanity.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:02 PM   #19
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Most of your vitamins, insulin, and many other products are already made by bacteria. Algae will be the source of most biofuels in the near future.

Small scale biotech companies are great, they are working on genuine compounds and there's more freedom at these places than Big Pharma. Unfortunately, the only people who have the resources/funds to move a product through the FDA happens to be Big Pharma.

Hopefully what this new research does is spur investment interest in biotechnology/molecular biology applications so that the smaller biotech companies with much more autonomy can get their products moving through the FDA.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #20
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Most of your vitamins, insulin, and many other products are already made by bacteria. Algae will be the source of most biofuels in the near future.

Small scale biotech companies are great, they are working on genuine compounds and there's more freedom at these places than Big Pharma. Unfortunately, the only people who have the resources/funds to move a product through the FDA happens to be Big Pharma.

Hopefully what this new research does is spur investment interest in biotechnology/molecular biology applications so that the smaller biotech companies with much more autonomy can get their products moving through the FDA.
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:01 PM   #21
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Oppenheimer
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Old 05-21-2010, 07:11 PM   #22
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some repo man shit right there.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:01 PM   #23
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ordinary fuckin people
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:06 PM   #24
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Sounds good at first, but will end up abused IMO.
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:38 AM   #25
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^ there are already patents on breast cancer genes causing the price of the test for it to be over $1000 (that insurance won't pay) - the company that holds the patent gets nearly all of it, because the test can be performed by lab techs for less than a hundred, but since the synthetic gene has to be used in the test, only the company can perform it by order of the patent office. The technology for synthetic genes was intended for gene therapy and treatments - it is also being exploited.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:11 AM   #26
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I'm really confident because it's the pharmaceutical and fuel companies that are backing these scientists which basically guarantees that this technology will be used morally and for the good of all of humanity.
Hahahaha. Seriously. These slick faggots have the resources and know-how to create some devastating shit. 12 Monkeys comes to mind. Ya know, people hate on the folks that bomb shit but stuff is going to get out of fucking hand. We're all just fucking sitting around at the mercy of these money/power hungry retards. I think we need to set us up a bomb.
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:03 PM   #27
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Has anyone read Brave New World? by Aldous Huxley?

He predicted this shit like 60 years ago
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:20 PM   #28
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soma already exists bro
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:36 PM   #29
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soma already exists bro
This^ I think his prediction that we would all be controlled by our own pleasures is just as accurate but even more scary
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:38 PM   #30
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I'm really confident because it's the pharmaceutical and fuel companies that are backing these scientists which basically guarantees that this technology will be used morally and for the good of all of humanity.
Actually, this is exactly what it means. Think about where we'd be without those companies.
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