24 August 2009

Not playing

...but why stop with microbes? It will soon be possible to make entirely novel forms of plants or animals (including man). New cereal crop plants might fix their own nitrogen, eliminating the need for costly fertiliser. Or, how about custom-made insects that seek out and kill locusts or malarial mosquitoes?
-- Johnjoe Mcfadden argues that synthetic biology "provides new hope for a bright future."

The anti-GM lobby, he predicts, will howl that we should not be playing God. The last verb in that sentence, if nothing else, is surely wrong. As Craig Venter has said, "we are not playing."

Will W. Brian Arthur's mechanism of combinatorial evolution apply increasingly to biology as well as technology?

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