Darth Venter

From Red Ice Creations :

Few Branches of science are as emotive as genetics, and few scientists have stoked the flames of debate quite like Craig Venter. For a decade or more, the American geneticist has regularly acted as a kind of lightning rod for the hopes, fears and arguments that surround research into the building blocks of life, especially human life.

Venter, with his corporate backers, was the man who competed, and tied, with the publicly funded US effort to map the human genome seven years ago, which earned him plenty of plaudits but also the moniker “Darth Venter” and reportedly comparisons to Hitler by double-helix pioneer and Nobel laureate James Watson. It turn-ed out the DNA Venter sequenced was mainly his own, and just last month he followed this up with the publication of his full six-billion letter genetic code, a world first. Now he says he’s on the verge of creating a brand new life form in his Maryland lab using synthesised genes, and has applied for a patent for the manufactured bacterium. The critics are already squaring off: one Cambridge biochemist has dismissed the science as facile reductionism, while a Canadian bioethics group says no patent should be granted, warning: “for the first time God has competition”.

I have commented briefly about this subject in an earlier post. At that time Dr. Venter hadn’t yet perfected his process enough to apply for a patent. In the rest of this article the impression is given that he is applying for a patent, so he must be pretty confident about his process. Is this the potential Frankenstein Monster foretold by Mary Shelley over two hundred years ago?

Or is Venter a modern Prometheus, bringing Humanity Fire and Light? The symbolism is all over the place on this.

One such symbol is an event in Venter’s life when he was a young medic during the Vietnam War. The most defining moment in his life it turns out.

Read the rest of the story, you won’t be disappointed!

5 responses

  1. I forgot to mention that old eugenicist f*ck Watson. Like he had the gall to call Venter a “Hitler”. Hah! That’s a laugh riot! Watson may be one of the Godfathers of DNA research, but he shows his true colors most of the time.

    Venter’s intentions may be altruistic, but if the M.I.C. is funding some of his work, they’ll want a return on their investment.

    And the Chinese are already wary about race-specific bio-weapons.


  2. The new life form he aims to create is an attempt to find the minimal collection of genes required for a living organism. Why? Because he wants to design one that can suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere, or produce an endless supply of bio fuels.

    So this technique, if successful, could help reverse climate change and mend an ailing environment.


  3. What this amounts to is an artificial biological nanobot.

    Such a nanoform could also turn landfills into 21st Century goldmines.

    These artificial lifeforms could be programmed to consume any kind of waste product and turn it into a useful product.

    It can also be a horrific weapon.

  4. It can also be a horrific weapon.

    Worse than napalm or “nu-qu-lawr” weapons?

    Maybe they can program the nanobugs to devour neoconservatives and Bush-licking fundementalist thumpers?

    Nah, there are some things so disgusting even nanobugs would spit them out! LMAO!

  5. Yes, definitely worse than napalm or nu-cu-lar weapons!

    A bioform “gray goo” infestation would be verrrry devastating: http://www.foresight.org/nano/Ecophagy.html.

    And it would be true Christopher, the nanoforms could get bad indigestion from meals like that! LOL!

    On the serious side, like all technologies discovered or invented during this present 6000 year cycle of civilization, it has the potential for great good or evil.

    The trouble is, each new technology progressively increased the likelihood of wiping everything off the planet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: