March 11th, 2009 in Breaking News, Technology

Artificial life ‘could be created within five years’ - Telegraph.

Laboratories across the world are closing in on a “second genesis” - an achievement that would be one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time.

Prof David Deamer, from California University, said although building a new lifeform from scratch is a daunting task he is confident it can happen in five to 10 years.

He said: “The momentum is building - we’re knocking at the door.”

A synthetic, made-to-order living system could produce everything from new drugs to biofuels and greenhouse gas absorbers.

Opponents of the controversial research claim the technology could lead to machines becoming “almost human”.

But there would be no safety issues for a long time as any initial organisms would be very primitive and need large-scale life support in the lab, reports New Scientist.

The finishing line could be in sight after geneticists Professor George Church and Dr Michael Jewett, of Harvard Medical School, told a synthetic biology conference in Hong Kong that they had synthetically created part of a cell, called a ribosome.

Don’t forget - the word on the street is technology is at least 25 years ahead of what the public is told.