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It's a hard knock life
November 14, 2003 8:14 AM   Subscribe

New Scientist reports that a virus has been built up from mail order components. Other reports on this are in USA Today and Nature. This isn't time life has been created in the lab, as previously linked.
What's interesting is that this study was funded by the Department of Energy to produce a completely man made lifeform that can create hydrogen or consume greenhouse gasses. The present virus is an artificially created copy of a naturally occurring virus.
posted by substrate (7 comments total)

Since a virus without a host doesn't do much, is a virus really "life"?
posted by alumshubby at 8:33 AM on November 14, 2003

This isn't ^ time life

Insert "the first" at ^.
posted by me3dia at 9:05 AM on November 14, 2003

it's the end of the world as we know it, and i feel fine...
posted by muppetboy at 10:19 AM on November 14, 2003

it's life jim, but not as we know it.
posted by Hackworth at 10:41 AM on November 14, 2003

"Genome maverick" -- dang, that's cool.
posted by nickmark at 10:57 AM on November 14, 2003

A knowledgeable buddy of mine said when we were discussing this today that this is the necessary development for creating effective gene therapy and, combined with quantum dots, means that true anti-aging treatments are less than 15 years away.
posted by billsaysthis at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2003

Since a virus without a host doesn't do much, is a virus really "life"?
According to a biology teacher I had a couple years back, whichever scientific organization is in charge of these things (NAS?) had defined viruses to be alive until fairly recently - when they changed the definition, and now viruses are not included (presumably because they can't replicate outside a host).
posted by kickingtheground at 6:41 PM on November 14, 2003

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