Scientists will soon be able to completely design and print out simple, synthetic lifeforms on Earth using biological 3-d printers, a scientist from the Human Genome Project has claimed.
Dr Craig Venter from the Human Genome Project has claimed that scientists will soon be able to ‘print’ simple alien DNA structures and even simple synthetic lifeforms using biological 3-d printers on Earth.
Dr Venter created the first cell with a synthetic genome by chemically inserting DNA into the cell of a bacterium. He now claims that with recent leaps in the world of 3-d printing, scientists could soon do exactly the same thing by simply pressing Ctrl-P on their keyboards.
“In years to come it will be increasingly possible to create a wide variety of cells from computer-designed software. The creation of cells from scratch will open up extraordinary possibilities.”
He continued to say that it would even be possible to send a ‘robotically controlled genome sequencing unit’ into outer space to create, for example, a ‘synthetic version of a Martian genome’ and with it ‘recreate Martian life on Earth’. What he is essentially proposing is the exploration of space by small units in search for life that could be genetically recreated on Earth using information beamed back.
There’s no doubt that these comments will stir up a debate, but there’s equally no denying the possible uses of such technologies and processes in the realms of medical sciences and genealogy. Ultimately, this all comes down to the debate over the morality of synthesized life and interestingly these comments came to press in the same week that the Human Brain Project began its 1 billion pound project to develop a complete supercomputer simulation of a human brain.
Dr Venter made the comments in his most recent book, Life at the Speed of light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life.
Sources: The Independent