Sunday, October 30, 2005

Scientists as Creators (Shades of Frankenstein?)

Should scientists be acting as creators? A group of scientists is trying to form a living being from non-living chemicals reports a New Scientist blog by Bob Holmes. Though this opposes the religious beliefs of some, scientists believe that it will eventually provide immeasurable benefits including organisms that could clean fuel spills and heal injuries. Proto Life, a company based in Venice, is one of the few companies that has ventured to take on this controversial task in hopes of the next Nobel Prize. The company is run by CEO Norman Packard and his partner Rasmussen, a physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. They have nicknamed this creature in creation the “Los Alamos Bug.”

To approach such a monumental task, Rasmussen and his co-workers questioned what base essentials were necessary for an organism to be considered alive. In simplified terms, containment, hereditary and metabolism was what was needed. These are the aspects that they are experimenting with to impart on the Los Alamos Bug.

[Thanks, Ana Lita]

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