Synthetic DNA


Latest news:

October 10, 2013:
News of chemical programming languages and artificial DNA manufacturing take the science world by storm, but not fast enough to keep Mr. Higgs from getting a Nobel Prize for proving that mass exists, when all you need to do that is drop a hammer on your foot.New synthetic DNA recreates itself, said to evolve. New artifical compounds known as XNAs adn HNAs may show ability to evolve, store genetic data, and reproduce while creating artifical heredity and a chance to develop new ways of manipulating genetic material, hopefully for the good of medicine and humankind, and not just to create a giant acidic slime mold that etches all other biological life off the planet while turning the very rocks of our world into a digestible sludge.


Chemical Programming Language:

It may be possible to create synthetic DNA using a chemical programming language.

Is artificial life on the way?

Pros and Cons of Artificial Genes and Synthetic Genomes

Synthetic DNASynthetic DNA is now a reality. Recent news of the first synthetic life form has created controversy in the scientific and social communities. On one side, there is a new potential for genetic therapy and the potential to use synthetic genes to bring out traits in plants, bacteria, and animals that could be useful. On the other side, there is worry about a genetic menace, with hybridized life forms ending up in the wild, or genetic life forms that are hard to get rid of. Synthetic DNA and artificial life could be used to create vaccines, take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and create biofuels efficiently, and in doing so may present a scientific solution to real-world problems. Critics fear new kinds of biological weapons, or the potential for life forms with artifical genes to hybridize with regular life. There are philosophical and moral concerns. Does synthetic DNA behave any differently than standard DNA, since it seems to be able to replicate itself over generations and stay intact? Could it be used to cure diseases, or become a new kind of gene therapy? It will take years to find these things out.

The ability to "print" DNA and make customized molecules and products using DNA has almost limitless potential. For example, many diseases are the result of the failure of one or more organs in the body, so the ability to print new cells, or rebuild/improve the functioning of existing organs, could represent cures for many diseases. DNA could be used to create fuels, medicines, and foods. Some wild predictions would be the ability to transmit alien genomes (or domestic ones you can't stick in a FedEx envelope) by radio or the internet and have them built on the other side of the planet, so you homebrew DNA project could be tested in labs around the world, or a lifesaving medicine could be synthesized in large batches. Naturally, the downside of Playing God is that new diseases, pathogens, biological weapons, or toxins could also be created with such DNA. Today's weak pathogen could be tomorrow's unstoppable supergerm that digests all other living things and turns the Earth into a pool of slush. I can't wait to get my DNA printer!

Notes and Special Information

Special note: So far, synthetic DNA has only been used in experimental places, but the results are scientifically promising.