Sunday, June 19, 2011

DARPA wants Bio-factories producing synthetic life forms

"Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, 
how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, 
than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow."

Despite our best efforts, humans are still not as skilled at making life as life forms are themselves. 
A new program called Living Foundries seeks to use biology as a manufacturing platform, 
enabling the creation of new materials that are impossible to make today.

The goal is a factory that can produce materials on-demand, 
resulting in an entirely new manufacturing paradigm for the US, 
one based on a catalog of life’s building blocks instead of the tools of traditional industry.

Synthetic biology is already a burgeoning, promising field. 
Last year, the J. Craig Venter Institute announced it had created the world’s first synthetic cell
with a chromosome produced by a machine, and we’ve seen a host of other bio-engineering breakthroughs like cells that communicate like electronic circuits, artificial proteins that can sustain life.

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