Evidence Grows That Humans
Can Create Life
By James Donahue
As research in the human and animal
genome continues, it is becoming more and more apparent that science is on the verge of creating new life forms.
We have already made amazing discoveries
in nanotechnology that we believe will soon lead to an ability to grow artificial limbs to fit any part of the body, we are
figuring out how to clone ourselves, and we are discovering how to alter the DNA of unborn children to erase links to inherited
diseases like diabetes as well as physical deformities.
Scientists at the Institute for Systems
Biology in Seattle, Washington, recently announced they have successfully created an entire synthetic genome in the lab by
stitching together the DNA of the smallest known free-living bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium.
Leroy Hood, co-founder of the institute,
who was not involved in the research, said what happened there “represents the initial stages of an important new step
in studying how genes function together in systems to create complex phenotypes.”
Research leader Hamilton Smith, of
the J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, Maryland, said the work was an important second step in a three-step process to
the creation of synthetic life.
The final step, which could be announced
at any time, would involve taking the chemically synthesized DNA from the test tube and getting it into a bacterium where
it can take over and produce a synthetic cell, Smith said.
What is going on is research in a
new scientific field that is called synthetic biology. This is not an attempt to create new complex life forms, but rather
it is research designed to mass produce inexpensive new drugs and perhaps program bacteria that will seek-and-destroy tumors
in the body.
Still, the very concept of creating
a new form of bacteria is both exciting and a bit frightening. While it offers a promise of new concepts in medicine that
may heal such terrible diseases as cancer, it also suggests threats of deadly new forms of bacteria that may launch pandemics
such as the world has never before experienced.
It is obvious that we are on the
brink of godhood, but it also is obvious, because of how we live and treat one another, that we are not mentally and spiritually
advanced enough to take on this kind of responsibility.
Humanity thus finds itself at an
important crossroads. Either we wake-up on a mass scale, and do it quickly, or we are likely to unleash a doomsday sentence
upon ourselves from which there will be no return.