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This is brilliant and it bothers me at the same time.

If you can program a lifeform... That means you can program something that eats leafy things and reproduces. What if this is more robust than current lifeforms, because its engineered, and it over eats? over reproduces?

What if Anonymous starts engineering Viruses to attack people?

This is BRILLIANT stuff. But its also a concern that we would release engineered organisms into our environment, because you only have one chance to get it right.

I have concerns.
Stephen Sichina's profile photoJohn Prim's profile photoDaniel Ely Rankin's profile photo
Meh, every new tech has its dangers. As long as we're aware of them it shouldn't be a problem — it's the stuff no one sees coming that really gets us.
Look at the failure of Monsanto GMO - 'synthetic biology' is just a new package for 'genetically spliced organism'.

This is 'tech' looking for a problem that doesn't exist. We could feed everyone in the world today - but it requires:

1. Local agriculture
2. Elimination of false signals in the economic/distribution channel

It's not a case of applying intelligence - but rather - admitting openly and honestly what the real problem is...

And this is where some highly intelligent people fail (applies to the stupid too) - they get caught up in a self deception that 'my tech' will solve 'the problem' ushering in a new utopia...

An old saying among engineers is 'if I can't measure it, then I can't manage it'...

Of course, if one is measuring the wrong thing, then it still can't be managed...

Common sense? Or just a bit o' critical thinking.

just my 2 cents...
Comment two:

1. DNA of living creatures is no where near the same as computer code in a non living machine.
2. Living creatures are not machines
3. The fallacy with 'synthetic biology' is the belief they can manage evolution. Organism interact and evolve within the environment (an open system) - machines do not and are limited to our use (closed system)
4. Dressing it up as a 'sustainable solution' is not only ironic, but unethical.

Q: What happens when the organism adapts and becomes lethal or targets another ecological niche that currently provides beneficial services?

A: The 'terminator gene' will be activated and the synthetic organism will be switched 'off' (die)

Q: We tried that - the new mutation has erased the terminator switch - we can't turn it off. What do we do now?

A: System Crash. 'Green Screen of Death'. We can not reboot the eco - operating system.


Game over...
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