Monday, June 14, 2010

Man, I Love Science!

I was recently accused of being pro-scientist, when clearly and especially after seeing Splice I definitely AM pro-scientist!
For example:

J. Craig Ventor (pictured here) of the humbly-named J. Craig Ventor Institute in Maryland led a team which last month completed a life-form grown in a lab. They used a computer and four chemical bases to create a cell with no biological ancestor.


Mykoplasma Labratorium (Myke for short) is a self-replicating, 'watermarked' version of the naturally occuring single-celled critter mycoplasma mycoides. (I'm so gratified they named it after me!)

Sidebar: the watermarks include the code table for the English alphabet and punctuation, the names of the 46 scientists on Ventor's team, 3 quotations of philosophy, and the cell's web address (for those hoping to ask the cell on a date).

Next up, they hope to define the minimal set of instructions needed to create such life, streamlining and refining the process, making it cheaper and the like. Then they'll begin to design cells with commercial potential, such as biofuels, medicine, environmental applications, or my personal favorite: eating lead and crapping gold.

Ventor and company hope quote: "to ensure that the technology is used for positive purposes and that society understands the science and the issues."

Scientists: without them we'd be freezing in the dark at the mall!

While they're playing god, they very rarely make vicious freaky-deaky creatures like Splice's Dren.

So there.

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