Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Man, the creator

I happened to read a few articles regarding Synthetic Biology, Synthetic Life, BioBricks, DNA Hacking and that sort. Looks like the future holds a lot of promise and potential, for the "good" as well as the "bad", to us as a species. Many people call this phenomena, Life 2.0.

There is this interesting comparison of some predictions regarding Synthetic biology with Moore's law . In this case, the parameters are the growing effiency of DNA patterns instead of the number of transistors on a silicon chip. These predictions have been made by Dr. Rob Carlson from the University of Washington. Here is a chart from this article from The Economist.



There are already DNA Kits for kids who are interesting in ruining their social life and learning about DNA intead of trying to ermmm spread it around :D

The one above is from Discovery and is called Discovery DNA explorer kit. It is for kids above 10 years, FYI. There are some websites for DNA hackers too! Just you wait and see, when people of my generation are 70 yearls old, we shall be mercilessly recycled for some vague genetic material by asexually reproducing young yahoos created synthetically by our progeny.


On a more serious note, I have a feeling that perhaps this is the next phase of evolution. We have understood the evolution of organisms, how they are but "mindless" machines doing the bidding of their masters, the genes, and then we had one of these organisms (us, homo sapiens) postulate and think about memes and how they are similar to and different from genes. Maybe the next stage will be the memes finding (or more aptly, building) better and more powerful carrier machines - synthetic life forms that exist at the confluence of biology, bio chemistry, nano technology and electronics.

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