Friday, May 21, 2010

Artificial Genetics

Preeminent biologist PZ Myers reports today that a biologist has crafted an organism completely artificially with no DNA not synthesized by his laboratory. (Okay, so the pattern was that of an existing organism, but he sequenced it himself and did not take any part of any existing organism to do it.)
The implications of this blow my mind. We could, based on this, develop life to do almost literally anything. If we can work out a protein to see in the dark, we could then make a baby (for an infertile couple interested in adoption) who has night-vision. We could make plants that crank out billions of nutricious seeds or berries. We could make animals that serve our every need, and protein is the limit. And protein has made some pretty interesting animals in nature. Sharks have electrical vision. Snakes can sense heat. Lizards can regrow lost limbs. And all these powers could be ours.
My head asplode with possibilities.

3 comments:

ralleywolf said...

In short we could play god... O_O

themadengineer said...

Muahahahaha!

themadengineer said...

Actually, wait, there's a lot of limits to this. You cannot change your phenotype, the body you have now, with these techniques. You could have superhuman children, but you yourself can only improve through further education.

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