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Artificial Life Created

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby AstusAleator » Thu Nov 22, 2007 2:07 am

Maybe we'll make little organisms that can withstand Mars' atmosphere and thrive on the planet somehow... and they can terraform it for us. Perhaps this is our key to populating the universe!

I think Xenu was onto something...
What did the parasitic Candiru fish say when it finally found a host? - - "Urethra!!"
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Postby alextemplet » Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:49 am

Hm, maybe so. We'll just have to make sure the organisms on Mars don't evolve into something that will start a war against us.
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Postby AstusAleator » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:52 pm

Haha, i actually wrote another paragraph about that very possibility in my previous post, but scrapped it because it turned into a slightly snide jab at creationists.

Anyhow, in a slightly more realistic light, I think at this point our biggest fear of evolution's force on these AOs is that they mutate (or are manipulated) into disease-causing super-bugs.
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Postby tebuffer » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:13 pm

Hi,
Change is the permanent thing in this world..
so, go to accept this...
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Postby AstusAleator » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:15 pm

These theoretical changes we're worried about haven't happened yet though. If you could stop a madman from opening fire on a crowd, would you just walk away instead?
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:23 am

Yes change is a constant but that doesn't mean that we should let anything happen simply for the sake of change.
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Postby MichaelXY » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:11 am

Dr. Venter sees this technology as a new possible source for fuel. Imagine not having to depend on oil. This could be a good thing. Here is a quote from an article I read.

"Venter hopes to be able to use the bacterium to manufacture hydrogen and biofuels, and also to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."
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Postby mith » Fri Nov 23, 2007 7:30 am

venter hopes to get rich, let's not paint him too brightly.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:33 pm

Using bacteria to manufacture biofuels is not in theory a bad idea, as long we take the effort to make sure that the bacteria are not causing any more environment damage than would be caused by the use of oil, and as long as the biofuel can be sold at a low enough price to make it economical versus gasoline. Most people claim to care about the environment, but if they can still save money by burning gasoline, they will. E85, for example, is supposed to be great and wonerful for the environment, but it's still cheaper to burn gasoline. Like Venter, most people only care about money.
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Postby mith » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:05 pm

Ethanol uses a disproportionate amount of water to produce and is a giant poke in the eye to third world countries with starving populations.
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Postby alextemplet » Fri Nov 23, 2007 11:14 pm

Ethanol also burns more oxygen per liter and thus produces significantly lower gas mileage than gasoline.
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Postby woolleyy » Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:31 am

I think a lot of people give Craig Venter a hard time, but I think he is dedicated to the interesting science, not necessarily the money making science.

I completely disagree with the idea on the previous page, that science should never be studied for its own sake... What should it be studied for then? Money? Fame? No, I think science is at its best when studied for discovery's sake alone.

Also, to answer the question from jere on the previous page: Yes, the Venter acheivement doesn't sound so great to begin with (they used pre-existing organisms). But, the two main breakthroughs are these:
1. Transplantation of a chromosome, removing the chromosome of one bacterial cell and replacing it with another (first performed with two mycobacterium species).
2. The successful construction of a minimal genome. The synthetic part of the organism created by Venter is the chromosome, which was constructed by Venter to simply encode only the genes necessary for life.

Am I using the term chromosome correctly here? I've had a couple drinks and can't remember...
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