Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 25th, 2010

“We know what we only fabricate” said the physicist Richard Feynman.

What is happening in Boston at MIT? About 1,700 students, divided in 112 teams from around the world, presented their synthetically engineered genetic “bricks”.  From a chassis or frame of a minimal bacteria possessing the only property of reproducing, the students grafted genes (costing about 40 cents) on the frame so that the new synthetic organisms deliver specific functions or properties such as producing a scent, detecting hazardous chemical compounds, emitting fluorescent lights…

A vast living kitchen where these living engineering samples are stored in refrigerated banks as spare parts for later use as Lego constructs. There are currently 5,000 of those “open source’ bio-bricks. Apparently, there are 10,000 artisanal genetic laboratory around the world and this yearly convention is the 6th.  Richard Kitney, director of the center of biological systems in Imperial London College, blurted out in excitedly: “Industries demand and are ready to invest heavily for the industrialization of biology (for example, speculative sources of energy production of bio-carburants, bio-degrading synthetic organisms, detecting harmful organs, decontamination of the environment, and aiding the military in biological warfare).

In 1912, the physician Stephane Leduc published “Synthetic biology”; he believed that forms, colors, textures, and movement of living organisms are the essence of the physico-chemical basis of life.  In 1978, Waclaw Szybalski wrote: “Till now, we were engaged in the descriptive phase of molecular biology.  The real challenge has started with synthetic biology.  We will discover newer elements to add to new modules of existing genomes that have controlling properties.  Thus, new synthetic genomes will acquire close-circuit behaviors and the gamut will be unlimited.”

Craig Venter is the catalyst in these conventions; he is the private pioneer in sequencing human genomes in the 90’s.  Venter fabricated the first synthetic bacteria; he assembled sequences of pig bacteria (an artificial chromosome)  and injected it in a goat bacteria cleared up of its genome; the new synthetic bacteria reproduced.

There are many methods to producing synthetic molecules with auto-organizational properties.  Jack Szostak (Harvard Medical School) stated: “We are very close to transforming molecules into living organisms.”

There are legislations on living organisms but not on synthetic biological products.  So far, constraints on new synthetic molecules are that they should not be able to interact with current natural organisms (genetically incompatible) and also nutritionally confined to rare substances (fluor) and unknown in nature (silica).

Once the Pandora box is wide open, there would be no fundamental theory to remedy to the  newer calamities and the new open hell that mankind created.  In the short-term, mankind will suffer famine because multinational industries in sugar, oil, and chemical products are regrouping to monopolizing special kinds of agricultural products.




August 2010

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