Who says American political life is as artificial as it can get?
Adamant noted The advent of Synthetic Life on Earth last June, when the replication of a bacterial chromosome using man-made amino acids was reported to the Zurich Synthetic Biology conference.
Now a Venter Institute team led by Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith is about to announce the design and construction of a new species with a synthetic chromosome built from scratch, ready to install into empty cells to kick-start the first artificial life form on Earth.
"The announcement, which is expected within weeks and could come as early as Monday at the annual meeting of his scientific institute in San Diego, California," says The Guardian, reporting "they have painstakingly stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code." The DNA sequence, based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium has been pared down to the bare essentials, trademarked with fluoromeres , and rechristened Mycoplasma laboratorium.
But disconcerting as Beltway metaphysicians may find this rather predictable prospect, it should not distract us from more pressing biotech needs :
The Committee To Re-Elect The MIT President
Donate now, before Harvard recombines the DNA of the first fifty democrats in the Cambridge phone book.
Since Venter patented the synthetic gene sequence in question las year, it's only a matter of time before patented candidates appear--why not now ? Consider the preceding a Record of Invention for 'A means for securing multiple presidential terms by recombination and expression of Candidate Genes.'
As a paleocon I naturally disapprove of Neocons bent on cloning Wilson, Woodrow 1.0, but if Harvard has President Mather's DNA in its archives, I grant them free license to amplify Increase at will.