Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre


Newsletter Digest: Southern Ocean carbon sink and NZ’s synthetic bio sitrep

Peter Griffin posted in on May 28th, 2010.

Will the Southern Ocean carbon sink hold? Ice core records show there was a sharp rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – a nearly 50% increase – at the end of the last ice age. Scientists have long puzzled over the origin of all the extra CO2 that appeared as the great ice sheets […]

ODT: Ethics and ‘Dr God’

Peter Griffin posted in on May 27th, 2010.

An editorial in the Otago Daily Times looks at the announcement of the first fully functional synthetic genome,which was inserted into a host bacterium and successfully ‘booted up’ the cell. The breakthrough, correctly hailed as a great technical advance, has drawn both excitement and consternation as people consider the implications of the breakthrough. An excerpt: […]

Continue reading “ODT: Ethics and ‘Dr God’

ODT: Should mere humans be ‘playing God’?

Peter Griffin posted in on May 26th, 2010.

Bioethicist Gareth Jones writes about the creation of the first functional synthetic genome, arguing that placing a moratorium on the continuation of such research is not necessary. He also points out that, while the breakthrough is significant, it is years away from having practical applications. An excerpt: (read in full here) “Humans have been increasing […]

Southland Times: After the doctor created life the bacterium’s offspring took over

Peter Griffin posted in on May 26th, 2010.

Joe Bennett writes in an opinion piece in the Southland Times about Craig Venter’s recent creation of a functional synthetic genome, pointing out that those who would like to curtail any further such research are unlikely to be successful. An excerpt: (read in full here) “The consequences of Dr Venter’s actions will be terrifying. Our […]

Dom Post: Synthetic cells could change the world, says Kiwi scientist

Peter Griffin posted in on May 24th, 2010.

Kiran Chug and Matt Callman write in the Dominion Post about the successful creation of a synthetic genome, announced last week in the journal Science. The announcement has sparked much comment and debate from scientists and members of the public, with some saying it could potentially change the world (positively), while others say the potential […]

NZ Herald: Synthetic life breakthrough met with awe and alarm

Peter Griffin posted in on May 24th, 2010.

With the news of the successful creation of a functioning synthetic genome, the New Zealand Herald sums up some of the opinions circulating regarding the news. An excerpt: (read in full here) “A bioethics blogger, Dr Art Caplan, asks the question: “What does it mean to be alive?”, saying oversight of such this sort of […]

Newsletter Digest: Synthetic cells, troubled teens and Interphone

Peter Griffin posted in on May 21st, 2010.

Synthetic biology breakthrough Geneticist Dr Craig Venter was integral to the sequencing of the human genome. Now he claims to have made a breakthrough in his long-running bid to create synthetically generated cells – essentially, artificial life. The aim, he says, is to develop organisms designed with chemical, industrial even medical purposes in mind, an […]

Experts on Craig Venter’s synthetic biology breakthrough

Peter Griffin posted in on May 21st, 2010.

Scientists have for the first time created ‘synthetic cells’ that can survive and reproduce on their own. A team lead by Dr Craig Venter published their results in the journal Science today. Venter’s team set out to create a living cell based entirely on a computer-designed DNA sequence. They digitally designed a stripped-down genome for […]

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