Re: Researchers build huge DNA chains -- able to create synthetic lifeforms within the next decade

From: Chris Cogan (
Date: Thu Jan 27 2000 - 21:52:33 EST

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    > Interesting BBC science article.
    > The breakthrough that is still necessary to do this is to know how to
    > jumpstart the genome

    I think this is a weakness of the DNA approach to constructing life, though,
    for the purposes of creating bacteria-to-order in the future, it is probably

    I doubt that life originated as DNA-based, or even RNA-based. In this
    respect I agree with critics who say that it's just too improbable to get a
    working organism that way. My guess (with Stuart Kauffman) is that life
    originated as some sort of loose confederation of molecules that served, as
    a group, to reproduce the components of the confederation. Selection for
    stability and reproductive capacity could begin at this level (or even
    lower, at the level of a single auto-catalyzing simple molecule), leading
    eventually to "mini-cells" (cell-like structures with a near-minimum of
    molecular "machinery," vastly simpler than any cells we know of today). The
    rest is history. :-)

    -- Chris

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