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  1. #1
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    Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Don't know where they got the "3-10" figure, seems like an odd range, but whatever. The 21st century is looking to be an interesting time.

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    Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.
    Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."

    "It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways—in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

    That first cell of synthetic life—made from the basic chemicals in DNA—may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you'll have to look in a microscope to see it.

    "Creating protocells has the potential to shed new light on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."

    And several scientists believe man-made life forms will one day offer the potential for solving a variety of problems, from fighting diseases to locking up greenhouse gases to eating toxic waste.

    Bedau figures there are three major hurdles to creating synthetic life:

    —A container, or membrane, for the cell to keep bad molecules out, allow good ones, and the ability to multiply.

    —A genetic system that controls the functions of the cell, enabling it to reproduce and mutate in response to environmental changes.

    —A metabolism that extracts raw materials from the environment as food and then changes it into energy.

    One of the leaders in the field, Jack Szostak at Harvard Medical School, predicts that within the next six months, scientists will report evidence that the first step—creating a cell membrane—is "not a big problem." Scientists are using fatty acids in that effort.

    Szostak is also optimistic about the next step—getting nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA, to form a working genetic system.

    His idea is that once the container is made, if scientists add nucleotides in the right proportions, then Darwinian evolution could simply take over.

    "We aren't smart enough to design things, we just let evolution do the hard work and then we figure out what happened," Szostak said.

    In Gainesville, Fla., Steve Benner, a biological chemist at the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution is attacking that problem by going outside of natural genetics. Normal DNA consists of four bases—adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine (known as A,C,G,T)—molecules that spell out the genetic code in pairs. Benner is trying to add eight new bases to the genetic alphabet.

    Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem.

    "When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1

  2. #2
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    You beat me to it! I was just about to post this storey.

  3. #3
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Exactly, what good would this do for us, New World Order is cripping upon us, they want 90% of the world's population zapped off planet earth and they want to take all our vitamins and supplements away, what good is this ARTIFICAL LIFE?

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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    I read your post to some lunatic at the Religious forum, good job chap that person didn't know what he was talking about. That was great post you posted.

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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxy
    Exactly, what good would this do for us, New World Order is cripping upon us, they want 90% of the world's population zapped off planet earth and they want to take all our vitamins and supplements away, what good is this ARTIFICAL LIFE?
    What good? The religious right have always held the idea that the creation of life is so improbable that it could never have happened. The problem with this belief is that we really don't know what processes are involved in creating life. If we can figure out a way to do it in the lab, then we can start looking at how possible it was to happen spontaniously.

    This is a fundamental question about who we are and how we came to be. This is one of the MOST important questions to many people today. It's what most of the wars are fought over.

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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxy View Post
    Exactly, what good would this do for us, New World Order is cripping upon us, they want 90% of the world's population zapped off planet earth and they want to take all our vitamins and supplements away, what good is this ARTIFICAL LIFE?
    Another side of this is: What is the ultimate nature of life? What is a living system? Can it be defined in terms of our existing knowledge of chemistry and physics or do we have to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of time and space, matter and energy? A good way to understand a problem is to try and solve it. And we may find that the problem is very different from what we expected.

    A miracle is simply technology that we don't understand.

  7. #7
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    artificial life will never happen never, good luck with thinking it can time to go to fairy tale land hahahahahahah hehehehehhehehe just tellin yeah

  8. #8
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Hey, you're proof that 100% pure BS can post on the internet...Artificially generated life should be easy in light of that!

  9. #9
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    LOL with LogicallyYours
    A real, honest, falsifiable claim made b.y Seer of dreams:(2011)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cnance View Post
    I believe there will be a nuclear war in October of this year.
    Oh Cnance.... Full of shit as always.

  10. #10
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Quote Originally Posted by LogicallyYours View Post
    Hey, you're proof that 100% pure BS can post on the internet...Artificially generated life should be easy in light of that!
    There could be various problems involved in creating a self-contained and indefinitely self-replicating system that are not anticipated at the moment. In the late 1950's the theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner wrote an essay entitled, “The Probability of the Existence of a Self-Reproducing Unit”. Based on set theory, he derived the result that such a probability would be zero. He admitted that the derivation was intended to be suggestive rather than conclusive, suggesting an influence such as a “consciousness”. It seems to me that perhaps he felt that there was principle that would be to twentieth century physics what quantum mechanics and general relativity were to the classical physics of the nineteenth century. The language of the essay is a bit awkward so it is sort of hard to tell.

    Dr. John C. Walton, a lecturer in chemistry at University of St. Andrews comments on this essay saying,

    “Wigner was careful to point out that his conclusion is not truly conclusive. The most important assumption on which it is based is that the interaction of the nutrient with the organism be goverend by a random symmetric matrix. This assumption may, of course, be questioned, but its entire reasonableness is demonstrated by the fact that an identical assumption for the Hamiltonian matrix of complicated systems enabled von Neumann to prove the second law of thermodynamics to be a consequence of quantum mechanics.”

    P.T. Landsberg published a rather similar argument in the August 29, 1964 issue of Nature. More recently, Prashant I. Chakrabartya did a more updated compilation of various arguments of this type found at:

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0510221.pdf

    This type of study does not tend to be very compelling. It sort of hints at something but doesn't really nail it down. Erwin Schrodinger wrote a thin volume called, "What is Life?" In it, he seemed sympathetic to the idea but he didn't really develop it much. It seems like theoretical physicists are intrigued by this idea.

    I would guess that an artificial self-replicating system might succeed with one or possibly two replications and then lock-up. Unresolved faults would accumulate and gradually bring the system to a halt.

    In an aqueous environment at room temperature, the system would be breaking down all the time because of hydrolysis of the peptide bonds. Normal anabolism would counteract this to a certain extent. But in the case of a bacterial cell, the whole system is a sort of integrated mechanism. The DNA molecule of E. coli is so long that it is sort of wound into the cell like magnetic tape into a cassette. A fault at one point in the system can indirectly or directly affect the whole mechanism. Going back to the tape analogy, if the tape gets stuck at one point, the whole assembly comes to stop. And if you have multiple faults all over the system occurring continuously, their effect can be synergistic.

    It seems plausible that perhaps any living system requires some sort of intergral, entropic intelligence at a quantum level to keep things turning indefinitely. A good way to get some experimental data is to try building a quasi natural self-replicating system. I think it is a great idea.

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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    Interesting... I'll have to read that article when I get a chance.

    Perhaps you can tell me though, how does Wigner define a "self replicating unit" such that his proof excludes their existence but not the existence of the self replicating units we see all around us (aka. life)?

  12. #12
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    You're right. It is a contradiction or paradox. When such a case occurs, there are a couple of possiblities. The argument itself might be flawed somehow. But other times it indicates the need for some additional rationale to explain it. In the late 1800's and early 1900's astronomers and physicists were seeing things that didn't make sense from the standpoint of Newtonian physics. General relativity and quantum physics cleared up most of the issues. Whether we have a similar case here is hard to say.

    All of the authors cited stop short of saying that this suggests the presence of some immaterial essence: a soul, spirit, life force, chi - call it what you will depending on your cultural or religous preference. I would have to agree, that is going a bit too far.

    But we do have a logical argument, consistent with what is known quantum physics that suggests there is a missing puzzle piece here.

  13. #13
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    Re: Artificial Life Likely within 3 to 10 Years...

    It would be awesome if humanity could take its own evolution to its own hands. It would be immensely beneficial for humanity as a hole as far as medication and over all quality of life. On the other hand, it would raise a large number of ethical questions. Not to mention religious groups kicking up dirt for messing with their dogmas.
    "Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes!
    "More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise."

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