Should we find alien life elsewhere in the universe, what would it look like? Biologists on Earth don't even agree on how life arose here--or what the definition of life really is--but one thing biologists do seem to agree on is that it would be really useful to have a second example of life to compare with our own version. But that second example most likely won't come from some faraway planet, says the NYT's Dennis Overbye. Scientists will more likely create it right here on Earth.
Synthetic biology and the idea of synthetic life aren't new by any means. Just last year, for instance, J. Craig Venter made big waves by claiming that his institute had created the world's first fully synthetic, self-replicating cell. Other researchers disputed the notion that the cell was an example of life created from scratch, but the idea was there; chemicals and molecules researchers brew in their labs may at some point spring to life.
That's going to open up a brave new world of biology and chemistry of course, and that's why you should probably take a minute to click through and read this piece on your lunch break. It's mostly the story of Scripps Research Institute scientist Gerald F. Joyce, who has created some molecules of RNA--very many, actually--that are capable of replicating (reproducing) and adapting (evolving), meeting two of the main pillars in many definitions of life.
His RNA molecules aren't self-sufficient and can exist only under controlled laboratory conditions. And Joyce himself doesn't consider them synthetic life--yet. But we're getting much, much closer to creating it in the lab he says. After all, some respected biologists have posited that in the early days of life, there was no DNA. RNA acted as both the machinery of life (the role it plays now) as well as the design drawings (the role currently played by DNA).
In other words, RNA molecules themselves aren't considered alive, but at some point in the past life may have been somehow breathed into RNA. That could happen again in some test tube somewhere. Joyce already has his RNA molecules reproducing, evolving, doing battle in Petri dishes in which only the fittest survive. Which is pretty exciting/scary/anxiety-inducing/amazing. Click through below for the whole story, it's worth a read.
lol. PoPsci starts an article about alien life. The large amount of readers with the “DO NOT DESTURB LITE BEING ON" is large and commentary. But, I hope general readers see this article and decide to understand all the other cultures of the world, history and ancient religions, ancient monolithic monuments and structures, art. I am stand fast to my own Christian religion and often hear in life, people say, show me proof, pull the facts out of your pocket and show the proof of GOD. I find researching other cultures and other religions, history and art, does show the proof. But you have to have a mind and heart to dare and look at the SUN. I find even understanding science displays proof of his miracles our dear Lord has made too. I see so often people drive to and from work, have their Happy Meal Lives from McDonalds and make their religious decisions in a franchise way as Wal-Mart. They do not stop to really think, investigate, to be curious and decide what life is about for them... Of course, I get commentaries to me all the time that say “nobody likes me and worse comments too“hoping I just go away. I have read 55% of USA people believe in Angels, too. I wonder if they can leave their own living rooms, TV, Cable, and see there is so much more to this world and life. I am optimistic.
BubbaGump, I must admit I enjoyed reading your comment. As both a lifelong Christian and a lifelong science buff I have had to come to terms with the supposed differences between religion and science and I have come to realize that there aren't any. Both science and religion in their purist forms are the search for truth. Neither excludes the other, if one leaves his or her mind open to ALL of the evidence.
To those who think that all who believe in God are stupid, remember that Einstein, Newton, and most other great scientists in history believed that our universe was designed and created by an all knowing God.
To the simple few commentators that seem so often to attack me. Life is beyond the USA borders. Religion is all around the world. History covers the earth. We humans are one of the same species and not separate as much as you like to believe, but humans are just one family, traveling through the stars on space ship earth, with one GOD loving us all. If we humans have different views, it’s actually correct, we were created as individuals and we are also ants in this great universe. God is larger and more beyond the universe and all we can imagine. Sometime pick up a small black sugar ant and attempt to communicate to it. It will ignore you, maybe be scared or confused, it will not understand you, most diffidently it will be pre-occupied with its own life or just pre-occupied with running away. Now say hello humanity, fellow ants. It is a proven statistical fact as humans we grow less violent on a day to day basis as we grow educated. So leave you easy chair, go to places that are not in your comfort zone, get to know another religion, another place, another society, history, archeology, the world and sciences. We as humans as we grow are less violent; it’s a good thing. I promise you as you venture off, you own religion will stay with you and grow stronger and you end up loving the rest of the world more. Science is ok too. Science is our human way of displaying all the beauty our Dear Lord has made. Don’t let different languages, different perspectives, different religions scare you off. We are all human on space ship earth; it’s beautiful and were traveling the stars now and were not alone!
Well, that was a highly incoherent, non sequitur post. What exactly was your point with all that, anyway? That science is proof of God? That lots of people go through life without thinking much about what they're doing? Those are valid discussion points, but they still have nothing to do with creating RNA in a lab.
Anyway, I won't really be impressed until scientists manage to create a form of life that doesn't rely upon the same building blocks that nature has already constructed. For all we know, alien life already exists somewhere that's based on a completely different chemical structure from DNA and RNA. When scientists create a robust, self-replicating form of life like that, with an entirely unique biochemical basis, THEN they'll have achieved something truly significant.
Way off topic, but, what exactly do you do all day BubbaGump? You comment on I believe every PopSci article and write essay after essay.
Contact with over 1200 alien civilizations has already been made.
Human beings are actually alien beings because we were created by the Anunnaki who came here from their home planet around 450,000 BC. The only purpose in creating humans was to win the battle of Revelations described in the Bible.
The Anunnaki had a penchant for making toy animals such as the minotaur, pan and screaming harpie. Thus these scientists are following in their footsteps trying to create life in the laboratory. It must be some genetic pattern that causes this behavior for doing this type of research.
Nobody likes geneticists who make toy animals, and this is the reason the Anunnaki were booted out of this solar system.
Oh here we go... *sigh* See what your useless and inconsistent comments manage to achieve, Bubba? They bring out the crazy in StClair. Now it's going to be hours before the orderlies calm him down. I hope you're proud of yourself.
Also, don't try to take the moral high ground, you hypocrite. I've seen you condescend and attack other commenters lots of times without provocation. Or need, for that matter. Also, you really suck at condescension. You're just embarrassing yourself.
Back on topic. Initially, for the primitive RNA to evolve into DNA must have taken hundreds of millions of years. I wonder how much time it will take the scientists to do that. If they've already created self-replicating RNA they must be working very fast.
@Khaelmin, Sir, so sorry to desturb you calm, take care.
@Khaelmin, you so easy to shut up, lol. I am sure you live in the glory of your own mind. Narsisistic self rightess jerk!
It is difficult to type being strapped down like this by the orderly, but I think Khaelmin is ignoring the information.
For example, there have been 3000 cows that have been mutilated in the States. The aliens take the eyes and sexual organs. The Star Child skull shows that the Greys are developing a hybrid human/alien being using these cattle parts.
This was part of a treaty between the Greys and the US Government whereby they could abduct humans and mutilate cattle, and in return we got advanced spacecraft technology.
The Greys say that there is a problem with solidity of the earth.
The US Government has built enormous underground bases connected by huge tunnels and trains. Loud rumblings have been heard emanating from these underground bases near military bases.
We have an underground base on Mars known as MEPI. Our MJ-12 operatives are flown there by Martian pilots in their spacecraft.
Given this information, one scenario is that the Ascension will cause the earth to become soft. Hyperspace energy makes objects soft like putty. Thus the elite will get passes to board spacecraft in these underground bases and be taken to MEPI. When a spacecraft moves out of dimension in the tunnel, there is a shockwave created that causes the rumblings that have been heard recently.
His Ambassadorship to Earth, an alien selling anti-gravity elevators to the US Air Force for the MEPI warehouse, says that the rest of us will perish. So this is the reason the Grey's have abducted 100's of thousands of humans for genetic experiments to develop their hybrids capable of taking over the earth as soon as it cools down.
Women have gone to their doctor to find out that they are pregnant. Then three months later during the second checkup, the doctor says she is not pregnant any longer and there is no fetus.
As I have explained before, hyperspace allows two objects to merge together, or one object can be taken out of another object. Thus the Greys can easily remove their implanted fetus from the abducted woman.
This scenario has to be the reason that our government will not disclose what is happening. The government, military, scientists and doctors go to Mars, we the meek perish, and the Greys take over.
Have to go, the orderly is back to check on me.
haha dude i love this, bubba is some fat little kid who sniffs glue, then comes onto popsci to tell the world how retarded he is, and how much free time he has. Then there's his partner, st john. he provides the more mature role in their duo. as in, 85, suffering from paranoia, and many MANY other brain disorders. together they have a blast trolling popsci all day long, the little turds, or should i say turd...i honestly think they're the same person, cus as i read there stuff, im like, cant tell if retarded kid, or just psychotic old hag.
@orajnamalik, a response to some of your comments, no, no, no again, no, don not think so, mmm-no, yes, no, i no longer deside to sniff glue, the after effects of getting my nose stuck to a desk for 2 weeks - was just to painful, oye! Food for thought there ' orajnamalik ', who really gives a damn of you thoughts. I do not see you commenting highly intelligent comments on PoPSci. Nope, just being a insultive sarcastic smart ass. Ok, here we go, drum role please.....dummmmm, de dummm. Presenting the great and wonderfully intelligent " Orajnamalik " to dazzle us all with is genious comments on the topic of this article. There, I gave you a nice introduction, wow us please!
this has to be the most F*cked up comment thread i have read yet by popscis attention loving crazy trolls. Popsci i am directly appealing to you to take unscientific teenagers who have watched the history channel a couple times off your site, they distract other commenters and have no class.
@bjorn. I like to stop beating a dead horse and just move on. I wish you a good day and I like to hear you intelligent reponses to current PoPSci subjects. Take care.
guy's, it's religion, it's belief, everyone has theirs and no one wants to hear about it. if you want to teach someone about how great your God is then don't play the victim card, it makes you look like a prick and it makes your beliefs look like a shallow attempt to justify you being a smart ass. if you want to prove how amazing God is then BE awesome BY the glory of his name. otherwise stfu and go read your bloody bible.
as for the rna, that's great! can't wait to make our own independent organs. how about this: the ATP engine, charge your car while you drive, and burn off those love handles conveniently!
Whilst Newton was a believer in god Einstein most certainly
was not. He went to great lengths to make this very clear.
In fact a letter (penned by Einstein) was quite recently
sold at auction detailing this fact.
Richard Dawkins tried (and sadly failed) to purchase said
Please do not promote this disinformation.
Just looked this up as confirmation:
"The note was written in German to the philosopher Eric Gutkind on January 3, 1954".
The physicist wrote: "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."
Dawkins, had hoped to buy the note in which the physicist describes religious beliefs as "childish superstitions".
There seems little room for error.
I haven't been on popsci in a while, and when I come back the comment section seems to have been taken over by BubbaGump who spams post after post of off topic gibberish. They even had an article about posting etiquette, probably due to a large number of complaints about said off topic spammer. He even commented on the article about how it was probably his fault. And here he is, still posting gibberish. The comments section of this site is rolling downhill quickly. It is somewhat irritating to have to pick through the comments to actually find the ones that relate to the article. BubbaGump, please keep it on topic and coherent, or please stop commenting. You are definitely breaking the TOS and will probably get banned if you keep it up.
On topic, I think creating this RNA would be another good piece of evidence for the model of evolution that we have put together. Go science!
@jcbullen, evolution does not explain how the human species brain size jump 3 times in size. Do you have any ideas how this happen? Darwin mention this mystery too and had no solution.
@bjorn, typically when excrement leaves a human body, this is of a normal human response. But in your case, it’s just running as fast as it can for fresh air away from YOU!
Well I've started to report all of your comments that violate the TOU, hopefully you get banned soon. I'm not sure if you are ignorant of rules, or possibly have some sort of mental disability, but either way you still have to abide by the rules like everyone else.
@jcbullen. I have a question for you. How many new logins can be invented on the internet. My negative comments are a response to other negative comments. I do not begin and search out. I ask other to simply ignore my comment if they are bothered, but its their own problem, if they can not. I also provide us with their own intelligent comments.... usually a void happens next.
Can we PLEASE stay on topic?! Also, how did they go about making the RNA?
-Spouting a fountain of nonsense since 1995-