Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Not Life" Vatican Says of Synthetic Cell

Today CNN reported from Rome, Italy that the The Vatican praised scientists who created the world's first synthetic cell, calling it an "interesting result" that could help cure disease. However, scientists must "join courage with caution," said an article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano last Saturday. "They touch a very fragile territory where the environment and manipulation play a role that cannot be underestimated.".

"The weight of the DNA is great, and great are the expectations of genetic science," L'Osservatore Romano said. "Nevertheless, the DNA, even though it is an excellent engine, is not life."

Genetics pioneer J. Craig Venter, who runs an eponymous U.S. Institute for Genomic Research, announced Thursday that he and his team had created artificial life for the first time. Venter said his team had not created life.
"We created a new cell. It's alive. But we didn't create life from scratch," he said.

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