Artificial Life Created

| 10/11/2007 12:00:00 AM

FrankensteinDr. Frankenstein has competition, and his name is Craig Venter. After leading a charge to map the human genome, Craig Venter is expected to announce that he has created artificial life within the next few weeks, Ed Pilkington reports for the Guardian.

In June of 2006, I wrote about Venter's plan to reorganize genetic code and create artificial, designer organisms not found in nature. Now it seems that Venter's plan has succeeded. The designer life forms, Pilkington writes, could be used to solve the current energy crisis, and even stop global warming.

So just a recap: politicians and voters are still arguing about the ethics of stem cell research, and what it means to be "pro-life." Meanwhile, Venter, a private citizen, is in the business of actually creating life. Pat Mooney, director of the ETC group, a Canada-based bioethics organization, quoted in the Guardian piece, puts it into perspective. "Governments, and society in general, is way behind the ball." -- Bennett Gordon