Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lab created life: tantalizingly close

Shaun Saunders sends in an article from Live Science that has been a science fiction staple for as long as I can remember: Lab created life.

Scientists have created something in the lab that "is not life" they say but something that copies some of the same basic structures and functions that are the hallmark of life.

From the article:
  • The researchers, at the Scripps Research Institute, created molecules that self-replicate and even evolve and compete to win or lose.
  • The researchers synthesized RNA enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins or other cellular components, and the process proceeds indefinitely.
  • More significantly, the scientists then mixed different RNA enzymes that had replicated, along with some of the raw material they were working with, remarkably, they bred.
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