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Author Topic: first synthetic life  (Read 1199 times)
Triarius Fidelis
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« on: May 20, 2010, 08:50:25 pm »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7jdzws08xg
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/its_alive_1.php

The first synthetic species has been created. It's not the same as artificial life per se because the genome, though generated under the direction of a computer and manipulated for certain purposes, comes from an existing organism and has been injected into an existing cell body. The deviation is not radical enough to be called "artificial"

That being said we can be sure that it's really real because one of the cute manipulations they did was to add a gene that produces beta-galactosidase, which boils over into a phenotypic difference, a vivid blue coloration, visible to the naked eye in large cultures. And the proof is in the Petri dish

And regardless man

Synthetic life

Woooooo!!!

Woooooooooooooo!!!

I have been in love with this kind of thing since SimEarth and having read Cosmos

Now it's becoming a reality
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
nitehawk
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 02:08:45 pm »

I create totally new life forms myself,....(until I clean out that pre-mentioned refigerator).  Really DOES kind-of reminds one of that scene from Frankenstien,...."IT'S ALIVE!!!  iT'S ALIVE!!!"
Quote
and having read Cosmos
   The original TV documentary series was just AWESOME! (but I just may be giving out my age in mentioning that.).  It was mind-boggling, anyhow.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 02:23:54 pm by nitehawk » Logged
Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 12:36:22 pm »

The appeal of Cosmos is transgenerational. It's hardly needed revision. I read the book when I was in middle school (this was around 2002? 2003?) and saw the documentary series something over a year ago. Just as I was opening this thread, VLC started on Création du Monde by Vangelis, the crown jewel of the soundtrack

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0QQJfPi3ps

You get a sense of how massively recursive the machinery of the Universe really is ... of a parallel, unified computational world that governs stars and ants alike ... and it gets me thinking about a set of eyes looking heavenward at our own star
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
argon99
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 03:23:25 pm »

This is not synthetic life.  It's synthetic DNA!  DNA is not life.  This is shown that when a cell dies it has exactly the same DNA it had before it died.  The DNA is the software for the cells hardware.  Just as a computer can run different software so a cell can "run" different DNA.  Now your computer will just sit there without software to run it and so will a cell until it dies.

Why this is such headlines I have no idea.  When I worked at the USDA in Albany California we were injecting sequenced DNA into plants cells all the time.  This was twenty years ago!  This is the first time that a complete genome has been sequenced but it's not life, it's DNA.

If you have a dead cell and inject sequenced DNA into it you will have a dead cell.  You have to start with a live cell to get a live cell after the DNA is removed and the new DNA is injected.

The reason, I believe, that this is such headlines is there is no good definition as to what is life.  This is a huge problem with the search for extraterrestrial life.  How will we know life when we see it if we have no definition of what life is?
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 06:52:40 am »

If you have a dead cell and inject sequenced DNA into it you will have a dead cell.

That's what they did though, isn't it?

"The experiment involved creating a strand of DNA as specified by a computer in a sequencing machine, and inserting it into a dead cell of M. capricolum, and then watching it revivify and express the artificial markers and the M. mycoides proteins. It really is like bringing the dead back to life."

The reason, I believe, that this is such headlines is there is no good definition as to what is life.  This is a huge problem with the search for extraterrestrial life.  How will we know life when we see it if we have no definition of what life is?

This is just what I was discussing with some people on a Swedish forum today

http://vof.se/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12580

You can run it through Google Translate
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
argon99
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 11:21:54 am »

If you have a dead cell and inject sequenced DNA into it you will have a dead cell.

That's what they did though, isn't it?

"The experiment involved creating a strand of DNA as specified by a computer in a sequencing machine, and inserting it into a dead cell of M. capricolum, and then watching it revivify and express the artificial markers and the M. mycoides proteins. It really is like bringing the dead back to life."

The reason, I believe, that this is such headlines is there is no good definition as to what is life.  This is a huge problem with the search for extraterrestrial life.  How will we know life when we see it if we have no definition of what life is?

This is just what I was discussing with some people on a Swedish forum today

http://vof.se/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=12580

You can run it through Google Translate

What they did was remove the DNA of a living cell and insert their own DNA.  They did not make life!  If you have read that they did the people that wrote the article didn't know what they were talking about.  Nothing like sensationalizing the story is there.  Now when the DNA is removed the cell stops making proteins.  Someone that is trying to twist the story could use that to say the cell is dead because it is not making proteins ( is a computer dead when it has no OS installed?).  But that is not true.  To show this have them remove the DNA and let the cell sit for a week in medium.   This is long enough time for the cell to die and the insertion of DNA will do nothing.  Time is an important factor in the insertion of DNA.  DNA codes for the support of the cell as well as what proteins the cell produces.

But what makes this a very sticky problem is there is no good definition of what is life.  The only answers to this question are things living entities do.  That's a very poor descriptor.  It's like saying a car is a devise that one rides in to get from point a to point b.  But what is the car is broken and can't move?  Does that make it not a car?  Do some research on the question of "what is life?"  You will find that there is no answer.  All you will get are descriptors of what life does not what it is.

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stretchedthin
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2010, 01:58:06 pm »

Isn't the big story here that they've created a new life form, man made at that?
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2010, 03:15:58 pm »

What they did was remove the DNA of a living cell and insert their own DNA.  They did not make life!

No one's claiming that they made artificial life. Their claim is weaker, but not insignificant: synthetic life.

But that is not true.  To show this have them remove the DNA and let the cell sit for a week in medium.

I have no idea how long the M. capricolum husk was left out

But what makes this a very sticky problem is there is no good definition of what is life.  The only answers to this question are things living entities do.  That's a very poor descriptor.  It's like saying a car is a devise that one rides in to get from point a to point b.  But what is the car is broken and can't move?  Does that make it not a car?  Do some research on the question of "what is life?"  You will find that there is no answer.  All you will get are descriptors of what life does not what it is.

Defining life as a process rather than a thing makes perfect sense. Would you call "security" a thing? Or a process? What about "evolution"? Is evolution a thing?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 04:14:29 pm by Triarius Fidelis » Logged

"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
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