Synthetic biology: And man made life

May 20, 2010

Artificial life, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, has arrived

TO CREATE life is the prerogative of gods. Deep in the human psyche, whatever the rational pleadings of physics and chemistry, there exists a sense that biology is different, is more than just the sum of atoms moving about and reacting with one another, is somehow infused with a divine spark, a vital essence. It may come as a shock, then, that mere mortals have now made artificial life.

Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith, the two American biologists who unravelled the first DNA sequence of a living organism (a bacterium) in 1995, have made a bacterium that has an artificial genome—creating a living creature with no ancestor (see article). Pedants may quibble that only the DNA of the new beast was actually manufactured in a laboratory; the researchers had to use the shell of an existing bug to get that DNA to do its stuff. Nevertheless, a Rubicon has been crossed. It is now possible to conceive of a world in which new bacteria (and eventually, new animals and plants) are designed on a computer and then grown to order. …

Celebration of Biotechnology wrap-up

May 16, 2010

Attendees pointed to the size of the seventh annual Celebration of Biotechnology on Thursday as evidence of how far the …Click Here to Read More

Mayo-led Research Team Develop Agents That Keep Insulin Working Longer

May 15, 2010

More than half a century after researchers identified a promising way to treat diabetes based on blocking the breakdown of …Click Here to Read More

Sanford-Burnham receives $3.5 million HIH grants

May 15, 2010

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona (SBMRI) is pleased to announce that two faculty members have received new grants …Click Here to Read More

Scripps Florida receives $6 million in NIH grants

May 15, 2010

The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a pair of grants totaling $6 million by the National Institutes of Health …Click Here to Read More

Friday. Wallgreens. OTC Genetic testing kit.

May 11, 2010

UPDATE: Postponed due to FDA enforcement letter. Pathway Genomics, a U.S.-based genetic testing company, today announced that Pathway’s personal genetic …Click Here to Read More

Big Pharma looks at biotech biz

May 10, 2010

The biotech sector’s knack at innovation seems to come from the small size of most its companies, which reduces bureaucracy …Click Here to Read More

Can Biotechnology save Africa?

May 9, 2010

The Des Moines Register this week publishes a wide-ranging series on the use of agricultural biotechnology in Africa.

Biotech jobs growing in Florida, long-term payoff unclear

May 8, 2010

Florida trails biotech leaders California and Massachusetts in many measures, but it has shown promise in some areas. How Florida …Click Here to Read More