Friday, 21 May 2010

Does DNA = life?

Jane Calvert and Emma Frow reflect on the Venter Institute’s breakthrough

The publication of the paper ‘Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome’ by scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute has been accompanied by the expression of a whole spectrum of hopes and fears that we have come to associate with new biotechnologies. But we suggest that some of the more overlooked features of the paper may turn out to be the most interesting. Here we highlight four.