Creation of artificial life stirs fears of Huxley’s Brave New World
Dr. J. Craig Venter
Scientists get closer to creating artificial life: study
CHICAGO (AFP) — Scientists have discovered a more efficient way of building a synthetic genome that could one day enable them to create artificial life, according to a study.
The method is already being used to help develop next generation biofuels and biochemicals in the labs of controversial celebrity US scientist Craig Venter.
Venter has hailed artificial life forms as a potential remedy to illness and global warming, but the prospect is highly controversial and arouses heated debate over its potential ramifications and the ethics of engineering artificial life.
Artificially engineered life is one of the Holy Grails of science, but also stirs deep fears as foreseen in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel “Brave New World” in which natural human reproduction is eschewed in favor of babies grown in laboratories.
The J. Craig Venter Institute succeeded in synthetically reproducing the DNA of a simple bacteria last year.