Friday, May 21, 2010

Scientists Create Synthetic Life in Lab

WASHINGTON -- Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA.

While such work can evoke images of Frankenstein-like scientific tinkering, it also is exciting hopes that it could eventually lead to new fuels, better ways to clean polluted water, faster vaccine production and more.

But some researchers are balking at the idea that man-made life forms could possibly be as well made, as attractive as it were, as natural ones.

"Look," Professor Ian Stein told a group of reporters covering the story, "We know the thing is ugly and you do too. There isn't anyone who'd choose this Frankenstein-ian abomination over the real deal, and for those who've yet to witness the ugliest thing on the planet, we've got pictures."

(Following photograph of the creature provided by Professor Stein)

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