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Will we soon be able to 'print' alien DNA ?

Posted on Monday, 7 October, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments

Synthetic biology could revolutionize science and medicine. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 US Army RDECOM
Genome scientist J. Craig Venter believes that we will soon be able to design and 'print' organisms.
Venter was instrumental in the mapping of the human genome and has since turned his attention towards the creation of synthetic biological organisms, an area that he believes could soon provide a solution to all of humanity's medicinal needs.

In his new book "Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life", Venter outlines his predictions and ideas about a future in which digital design and manufacture would make it possible to effectively 'print' tailor-made organisms that could be used in everything from curing disease to extending human life.

One particularly intriguing area of his research covers the idea that we may be able to return DNA sequences found on Mars and reproduce them here on the Earth using this technology.

"I am confident that life once thrived on Mars and may well still exist there today," he wrote. "The day is not far off when we will be able to send a robotically controlled genome-sequencing unit in a probe to other planets to read the DNA sequence of any alien microbe life that may be there."

Source: Independent | Comments (11)

Tags: Synthetic biology, Human Genome

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by diablo_04 on 7 October, 2013, 14:57
Flying hamster yeey
Comment icon #3 Posted by joz48 on 7 October, 2013, 15:04
it's already happened just look at Bjork
Comment icon #4 Posted by libstaK on 7 October, 2013, 15:42
Uhhh, well, the first and most obvious question is: do we HAVE any alien DNA to print? Do we have ANY solid concrete evidence of alien life outside the earth at all? And second, if we did, would that really be a good idea? Exactly what I was thinking - super bug anybody?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hatake Kakashi on 7 October, 2013, 16:00
Exactly what I was thinking - super bug anybody? We don't need any Brundleflies going around.
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 7 October, 2013, 18:32
I think any further development(years away I'm sure) should be kept secret and secure. Scary to think about what could happen in the wrong hands with twisted minds.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ratbiter on 8 October, 2013, 6:58
Yet another thing emerges from Star Trek, Replicator vs 3D printer?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Frank Merton on 8 October, 2013, 7:02
How do we dare even imagine that aliens evolved with DNA? That's a late stage in the evolution of life that no doubt has many alternative ways to work. Also, DNA is not enough to make a living organism. You also need mitochondria and who-knows what else.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Sundew on 9 October, 2013, 0:59
it's already happened just look at Bjork Yes, but we have quarantined that in Iceland.
Comment icon #10 Posted by MissAmber on 11 October, 2013, 16:37
A little too much like playing God to me!!
Comment icon #11 Posted by Parsec on 12 October, 2013, 0:14
Ok, I want a dragon

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