'Artificial' Life - Potential Bio Upgrade?
By ColmSmyth on Dec 18, 2004
The BBC article 'Artificial life' comes step closer describes how scientists at the Rockefeller University have "created" a cell using soft cell walls made of fat molecules taken from egg white, while the cell contents are an extract of the common gut bug E. coli with its genetic material replaced. The cell fluid makes a flourescent kind of protein.
Ok, so here's a wild idea - would it be possible to make an artificial human organ comprising a collection of such artificial cells which could create the 20 amino acids? This would mean we could be less dependent on certain types of food sources which provide vitamins that are normally an essential part of our diet. This could in turn enable life in less habitable conditions (such as in a long running space mission) .
My wild ideas aside, it's clear that techniques like nano-needles make this kind of manipulation (or creation) of living cells easier, including the possibility to alter stem cells to control their function and operation as progenitor cells, allowing the creation of different kinds of specific cells.
All of this reminds me of Voltaire's comment: if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him; what (or perhaps who) will we be able to invent tomorrow?