News reports say Craig Venter will announce the creation of the first artificial life form sometime this week.
Interesting to me that the post that alerted me to the issue is in the Religion Blog part of the Dallas Morning News blog stable. But then, the religion section was just downgraded. The paper killed its award-winning science section completely.
But it does seem the religious people are more worried about the impact of this sort of science on believers and reasons to believe, than scientists are interested at all.
DMN religion reporter Jeffrey Weiss points to an article in the Guardian:
Craig Venter, the controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.
The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California, will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes. It is certain to provoke heated debate about the ethics of creating new species and could unlock the door to new energy sources and techniques to combat global warming.
Mr Venter told the Guardian he thought this landmark would be “a very important philosophical step in the history of our species. We are going from reading our genetic code to the ability to write it. That gives us the hypothetical ability to do things never contemplated before”.
Expect more comment from religion pages of newspapers than other sections. Evolution and other science deniers will be greatly stressed by such an announcement — if the Guardian story is accurate, as early as this next week.