It seems we're step closer to the science
fiction of Blade Runner, The Island,
I, Robot and Surrogates.

Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing
the first living cell to be controlled entirely by
synthetic DNA. The researchers constructed
a bacterium's "genetic software" and
transplanted it into a host cell.

The resulting microbe then looked and
behaved like the species "dictated"
by the synthetic DNA.

The advance, published in Science, has been
hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics
say there are dangers posed by
synthetic organisms.

Some also suggest that the potential benefits
of the technology have been over-stated. But
the researchers hope eventually to design
bacterial cells that will produce medicines
and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases.

So we might be a long way away from replicas
of ourselves but who know what they'll
come up with in the future?

More on the subject

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