So this is fascinating, both on a general interest level and to those of you mgobloggers who are computer geeks. Scientists have created the first synthetic cell, which is a monumental achievement, with both scientific and ethical ramifications for the future. In doing so part of the process was replacing the organism's genome with one written entirely in code. The story is here in the WSJ, I've linked to it but am not sure it's clickable since the WSJ is subscriber based (some articles are not behind paywalls). I've also linked to an NYT story but that one doesn't do as nice a job explaining the process, focusing more on the ethical issues.
OT: Scientists create synthetic life using computer code
The sixth day
This is the type of thing that leads to all of us waking up dead someday.
I'd be willing to accept the potential consequences to get in the hot tub with her.
Haven't these fools seen Jurassic Park? You know what you get when you mess with cells - real or synthetic? Dinosaurs. That's what.
Potential recruits on the defensive side of the ball.
imagine what would be said about a T-Rex's arms.
That big lizard thing in the back ground has a winged helmet, Jeff Goldblum has on scarlet and gray, that flare thing is the football, the rain is probably snow (think the Florida players being cold is a problem...) and the park is the big house. I guess I'd take it
Jeff Goldblum is actually the QB, and that car represents the line of scrimmage. The T-Rex is Brandon Graham's (slightly) genetically modified son.
1. Dilithium into Tate's DNA
2. Moxy into Denard's DNA
and 3. Class into Dantonio's ?
So far they are creating bacteria that would help make gas. If that lowers the prices, I'm all for it! Hopefully they don't create something like on that movie Splice.
I'm cool with lower gas prices... however, we should be exploring cleaner energy options for the future IME.
My idea: bacteria that produce hydrogen from water... now go MGoNerds. Do my bidding.
...was just on Fox News channel signing a bill for higher fuel milege effency on mid/full size trucks. Perhaps your on to somthing here.
I saw a preview for that movie Splice during LOST the other night... It was pretty much the creepiest thing I've ever seen, I covered my eyes. Seriously, that creature is disturbing.
The article states that Exxon contracted this company for $600 million to give them a product based on a technology that didn't even exist until last week. Must be nice.
Aside from that, this is the coolest/scariest technological development that I have ever heard about.
Every time I watch this commercial, I shake my head and laugh. This guy's been working on algae for 35 YEARS and still hasn't figured it out. I work in research, and the amount of money they have to work on the way-out-there (aka useless) shit is astounding.
"Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to emply steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean." —Dr. Dionysus Lardner, University College London, 1838
"Well-informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value." — Boston Post, 1865
"That the automobile has practially reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced." — Scientific American, Jan. 2, 1909
"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." — Lord Kelvin, 1895
"While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." —Lee DeForest, 1926 (American radio pioneer)
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman, 1943
"There is no need for any individual to have a computer in their home." — Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment Co., 1977
I'd upvote this 100 times if I could.
The day we stop learning is the day we stop living.
the day the artificial world takes over the natural world is the day we stop living.
we wouldn't have to worry about oil at all anymore. That is my point. It is useless research because gasoline engines are almost 150 years old now. They aren't revolutionizing anything, really. Especially if they've apperantly been working on it for 35 years and we haven't seen anything of it. If I worked on something for 5 years and it wasn't going to be in production in another 10+ years, I'd get switched to research that would be.
Believe me, I know as well as anybody how small-minded individuals undercut valuable research, but research for normal (ie, not astronomically profitable) companies isn't a blank check that you can just throw money into. Especially in today's economy. It has to be very streamlined. Normal research is more about begging, borrowing, stealing, and scavanging to get the equipment you need. So when I see a stupidly profitable company taking forever and a day to research anything, with all the resources they have available, I have to laugh.
The amount of money they do have is quite large, but that is driven by private investment which indicates that the big guns think this type of work will be the next big play for energy. Is it wasteful? Possibly. Definitely not useless.
I'd suggest that the you probably need to adjust your expected timeline for how long it should take to develop an industrial process for fuel harvesting based on carbon dioxide reclamation using algae.
"How much money the oil companies have..."
Amazing they can put together the money to do this but can't clean up their own fuckin *disaster* of a mess in the Gulf!
They're destroying our ecosystem, and now open Pandora's box with this artificial life thing.
Yes, I know, 2 different companies, but still.... the fact that 2 of the biggest oil giants perpetrated something very dangerous to our planet... and something potentially dangerous.... within a few weeks says something.
They are pretty much the biggest forces for evil in the world. And for what? Working on a non-renwable energy resource that we're going to run out of soon?
Sorry to sound preachy but I seriously *hate* oil companies, they piss me off so much....
So I won't violate that mgorule myself by debating your overstuffed opinion either.
so we could pass them out in Columbus and East Lansing.
Like they would actually know what to do with them? MSU would probably try to put them in a goat or something.
In my world this is awesome and very far from scary.
Michigan's Latest Batch of Recruits Introduced by Rodriguez
Michael Rosenberg/Okemos Beacon-Times & Daily Shopper
Legendary Michigan head football coach Rich Rodriguez introduced his latest batch of recruits for the upcoming 2036 season in Ann Arbor yesterday, declaring "this is the best group of kids we've grown so far. We're very excited about what Mike Barwis has created in his vats." While the recruits have not been given names yet, the process of placing them with local area families has begun, with thousands of football-crazy UM fans lining up inside Schembechler Stadium in hopes of being given one of the recruits to take home with them, like Jodie Klowsnowski of Chelsea. "I can't wait to take a linebacker home. They're so valuable around the house—you can't believe what a kid who's 6-9 and 420 pounds can do in the garden. We've already reinforced our floors and we have the extra-large bed from having our last recruit, Denard Robinson II." That turned out to be a wonderful experience for Klowsnowski, as Robinson won two straight Heismans while leading Michigan to the ninth and tenth national championships for Rodriguez while single-handedly putting on a new addition, re-roofing the garage, and graduating summa cum laude from UM's Medical School. However, the recruiting news out of the other Big Ten vats was not as happy. Ohio State head football coach Justin Boren admitted that the 2036 OSU batch was behind schedule due to "technical issues." Rumors have swirled that Boren accidentally dropped a ham sandwich into the fertilization vat, prompting the shut-down of the Buckeye lab. This is on top of the disastrous batch created in 2035 that broke out of the facility on the OSU campus and went on a murderous rampage in Columbus and across central Ohio, killing dozens and wounding hundreds before the Ohio National Guard could gain control. Michigan State coach Drew Stanton declined to comment on rumors that the 2036 Spartan batch of recruits has already been a disaster due to the accidental mingling of human and bovine DNA in the East Lansing lab by an unidentified lab assistant. Rumors that the assistant was actually the 79-year old former Spartan HC Mark Dantonio giving a lab demonstration to Spartan boosters have been denied by Stanton.
Speaking as a molecular biologist in graduate school, the actual product versus what the articles claim seem to be more smoke and mirrors. What they did was take a genome and sequence it. They took that sequence and had it "made" in the exact same order. Plus adding a few bits in there to tag it. For instance:
To set this novel bacterium—and all its descendants—apart from any natural creation, Dr. Venter and his colleagues wrote their names into its chemical DNA code, along with three apt quotations from James Joyce and others. These genetic watermarks will, eventually, allow the researchers to assert ownership of the cells. "You have to have a way of tracking it," said Stanford ethicist Mildred Cho, who has studied the issues posed by the creation of such organisms.
They then took that DNA which was in a few smaller fragments and combined it into one long genome. Since it's bacteria, it'll be a long circular piece of DNA rather than linear like in humans. The biggest misnomer they are or aren't saying is that they took this DNA and put it into a already existing bacteria "host". So it essentially already had all the "other" components in there. Now if they started that from scratch, I'd be impressed moreso! Still, I don't want to steal their thunder as it is a great achievement and can lead to extraordinary things. I think I'm just taking offense to the "synthetic" part, b/c only the DNA is "man-made".
And for all those detractors bashing MSU above. They actually are trying to make jet fuel from algae up there, and have a ton of grant money from the Department of Energy to find alternative fuels apart from crude oil.
MSU for Jet Fuel development...considering the long and storied tradition of being able to set things on fire.... :-) what? what? What did I say ? You try setting couches on fire..it ain't easy.
Your words sound smart, I heard them like this:
"science science biology science"
then I scratched my sack.
/LSA Political Science
THEY'VE INVENTED CYLONS!!!!!
Well, not entirely... need to create synthetic chemicals to go along with the synthetic DNA... but, basically, the end result of this is designer creatures. I'll have a couple No. 8's and a No. 3, please, and make the No. 3 extra-horny.
This was inevitable. It is probably 50 years earlier than most science fiction writers would have imagined it. I think there is NO WAY to know the far-reaching, long-term consequences of this. Combining nanotechnology, genetic engineering, supercomputing, and now synthetic biology . . . it's literally Mother Nature about to hand the baton over to humans, at least in terms of evolution.
I think we still have a long time before we can take the baton form mother nature. It is an awsome development, but everyone in the 60's thought we were going to have a colony on the moon by now. There are lots of hurdles (technological, political, sociological, etc.) to get by.
+1 for the No. 3 extra-horny though.
Goddamit, Popular Mechanics lied to us. I'm stil waiting for my personal atomic-powered helicopter, the self-cleaning house, and the robot that looks and performs exactly like Miss Sweden of 1965. OK, the last item was from Playboy in 1961.
Much like the wheel inevitably turned into the car...
... was one of the more interesting seminar courses I took at Michigan (ChemE 4/696). I wasn't a ChemE so I don't think there are necessarily any class prerequisites. It's run by two professors (I only remember the one guy Woolf), and the intent of the class was to support the synthetic biology team in projects for IGEM.
Don't know if this is still going on, but quick google-stalk reveals: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/synthetic.bio/home
Very cool stuff.
Let's hope Jim Harbaugh is no where near campus so he does not go up in the mushroom cloud.
I, for one, like where this is going.