Scientists are only months away from creating artificial life, it was claimed yesterday.
Dr Craig Venter – one of the world’s most famous and controversial biologists – said his U.S. researchers have overcome one of the last big hurdles to making a synthetic organism.
The first artificial lifeform is likely to be a simple man-made bacterium that proves that the technology can work.
But it will be followed by more complex bacteria that turn coal into cleaner natural gas, or algae that can soak up carbon dioxide and convert it into fuels.
"Ugly?", Dr. Venter said, "Yes, initially they'll be as ugly as sin incarnate but with time we're sure to make them appear less horrific."
Pictured: Artist rendering of artificially created life form.