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Researchers One Step Closer To Creating Life

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the mad-science dept.

292

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute are potentially one step closer to creating life. In an experiment they recently created enzymes that can replicate and evolve. 'It kind of blew me away,' said team member Tracey Lincoln of the Scripps Research Institute, who is working on her Ph.D. 'What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting.'"

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wtf? (5, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423643)

What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting

I bet robots would fascinate these people.

Re:wtf? (5, Interesting)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423757)

Don't be an ass.

Biotech research, and particularly creating artificial, but organic life like systems, is a parallel, and often directly contributory line of research in relation to robotics and AI. The two fields have a steady exchange of ideas.

Researchers One Step Closer To Creating Life!! (3, Funny)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423901)

You mean some scientist out there almost got laid!? This IS one for the headlines! I just hope we'll be able to replicate the results with ease. God knows how many infeasible experiments big organizations have dangled in front of my low budget lab.

Re:Researchers One Step Closer To Creating Life!! (-1, Offtopic)

howman (170527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424287)

my first thought too. lmao.

Re:wtf? (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423849)

Robots the size of molecules would fascinate me.

Re:wtf? (5, Interesting)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423861)

How many self-replicating-self-assembling robots have you seen. .. 0? The DIY stereo lithograph is close, but that self-assembling bit kills it.

-ellie

Re:wtf? (5, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424037)

How many self-replicating-self-assembling robots have you seen...?

I see them everywhere. On the street, at the mall, at work. They don't even know they're self-replicating-self-assembling robots.

Re:wtf? (4, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424219)

Obligatory XKCD comic:

http://xkcd.com/387/ [xkcd.com]

We are the Android Sisters. We know we are robots. (0, Offtopic)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424279)

Are you human?
Do you think you are human?
Are you a robot that thinks it is human?
Did they hypnotize you?
Did they lobotomize you?

Do you still think you are a human?

Re:wtf? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424375)

Bite my shiny metal ass.

Well they would but that's not the point. (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423937)

The primary reason this sort of research is interesting is because it might give insight as to how abiogenesis occured. Most of the current hypotheses revolve around small sets of molecules becoming self-replicating and eventually forming cells with DNA and protein and all that good stuff. Moreover, even if this were similar to robots doing it on a small scale is independently interesting.

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424273)

At least they'll have a life very shortly.

Tracey Lincoln - you're so close to it - and you just might have a life before you finish your Ph.D.

Come on - this is too easy. There should be a thousand comments like this.

Re:wtf? (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424345)

I bet that she spends most of her day with low-life scums. Maybe - one day she can have her very own genetically engineered, low-life scum.

Re:wtf? (2)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424305)

I for one welcome our enzyme overlords

And where...and where...and where... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424309)

...is your God now!??!?!?!

Researcher's hands? Test tubes?

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424695)

Of course slashdotters mod this down, he was simply making a joke. Nevermind if he posted "F1r5t P05t" like all of you other shitheads.

Oblig (5, Funny)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423659)

Movie quote:

Male Character: "God creates dinosaurs. God kills dinosaurs. Man kills God. Man creates dinosaurs."
Female Character: "Dinosaurs eat man... woman inherits the earth."

Hah!

Re:Oblig (1, Flamebait)

Failed Physicist (1411173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423841)

I don't see how this is an obligatory quote. It's barely able to summon a hint of a smile, is not that much relevant to the topic at hand, and is a barely noticeable sentence from a movie that has a lot of much better quotes to pick from.

Re:Oblig (0, Flamebait)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423981)

He also misquoted it. In the middle of that he also says "God creates man". At least get the quote right... ugh.

Re:Oblig (2, Interesting)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423983)

Well once mankind has the ability to create life, what do you think people are going to clamor for creating? Life that is already created naturally? I think not...

People are going to jump for the creatures that don't exist anymore: wooly mammoths, sabretooth tigers, dinosaurs, etc.

Man: "Look honey, I made a dragonfly today!"
Wife: "Greaaaaat. I just squashed like 5 of them out back..."

Re:Oblig (2, Funny)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424087)

Frankly, I don't know about you but I Kinda like "Creating Life"

Re:Oblig (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424189)

When playing Sim life, did you create woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers and dinosaurs?

Thought not. No, it's flying nectar eating rhinos all the way for me.

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424261)

So, you wouldn't try to create a shark with a built-in laser cannon?

Re:Oblig (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424171)

yep - cloning is nothing like creation el n ... duh I flunked latin -- creation from nothing

Re:Oblig (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424017)

Jurassic Park [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oblig (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424435)

I prefer the sci-fi version (won't spoil the source since it's an awesome story.)

1. God creates Universe.
2. Universe evolves Man.
3. Man creates computer.
4. Universe dies.
5. Computer becomes God.
Goto 1.

Finally... (5, Funny)

zwekiel (1445761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423663)

I'll finally be one step closer to creating my race of manbearpigs.

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424009)

I don't know about you but I would rather have a chickenpigcow. I would love to eat a fried-chicken-baconated-burger.

Re:Finally... (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424121)

>I'll finally be one step closer to creating my race of manbearpigs.

A whole race of "man bears" [maximumawesome.com] Wow, you must have incredible stamina and tolerance for couch hair.

Funny Headline (3, Funny)

Zephyrmation (1372025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423669)

Apparently there are no fertile researchers at the Scripps Research Institute?

Bots... (2, Interesting)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423671)

I have this feeling that in 100 years "mechanical" robots will be very passe.

We were so close... (5, Funny)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423677)

Researcher quoted as saying: "I was so close... I took her out to eat, paid for the movie, laid on the charm as heavy as I could, but it wasn't enough. However, I do feel that I'm one step closer to creating life."

But, but, (5, Insightful)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423725)

the enzymes are being intelligently designed . . .

Proof of ID (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423995)

the enzymes are being intelligently designed . . .

That's correct. Now the next step, once we are sure that these things are capable of evolving into life, is to invent a time machine and send them back in time to become the seeds for life on this planet. As documented here [angryflower.com] .

Re:Proof of ID (3, Funny)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424471)

But...if they weren't there in the first place, we would never have existed and thus wouldn't be able to send them back in time, and thus, we would not have evolved from them and could not...argh, time paradoxon, cognitive dissona%/!!7?NO CARRIER[/lameattemptathumor]

Re:But, but, (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424001)

that would be true if we had in fact designed them, as it turns out they were evolved in a process called test tube evolution [creative name..]

Ah.. (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424463)

The Tom Cruise connection to the UFO nuts and the bible belt.

Unintelligent design (4, Informative)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424659)

the enzymes are being intelligently designed . . .

Not entirely. According to the paper, they were in part designed by in vitro evolution, an "unintelligent" design method that makes use of random mutation and selection to derive better enzymes. The power of "unintelligent" design mechanisms (of which evolution is one) is that they do not require that the specific solution to a design problem be known in advance.

Huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26423729)

Haven't they heard of unprotected sex? thats a really easy way to create life!

Easy? (3, Funny)

GoddessOfDeath (887416) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424223)

Easy? You must be new here.

Re:Easy? (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424561)

Well...it's a scientist chick. I guess female geeks aren't affected by the general inability of geeks to get laid - it's not like there'd be a shortage of male geeks, is it?

Obligatory (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423735)

Over half the world population has been able to create life for some time. Aren't you all a little late to the party? -_-

Re:Obligatory (5, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423781)

Over half the world population has been able to create life for some time. Aren't you all a little late to the party? -_-

Aren't you be glad that you'd finally be able to create life without the services of a woman?

Re:Obligatory (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423867)

Over half the world population has been able to create life for some time. Aren't you all a little late to the party? -_-

Aren't you be glad that you'd finally be able to create life without the services of a woman?

GP appears to be a woman.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26423961)

I've always kind of wondered whether that's the case. That "intraining" bit could mean otherwise.

Re:Obligatory (2, Funny)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424259)

This is slashdot, and you don't WANT to let 2 women be able to reproduce?

Re:Obligatory (1)

redJag (662818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424401)

Possibly just aspiring to be. But then, that doesn't make your statement untrue either!

Re:Obligatory (0)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423977)

Male: "Another lonely night. Another reason I'm glad I have a hand."

9 months later ...

Hand: "Yeah, err, remember that one night we both got a little drunk ... "

Um, no thanks.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424331)

Aren't you be glad that you'd finally be able to create life without the services of a woman?

But it's the "services of a woman" thing that's the whole point! The creating-life part is usually considered an undesirable side effect that is best avoided.

It's kinda like saying "aren't you glad that you'll finally be able to have alimony without the services of a women?"

Re:Obligatory (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424637)

Aren't you be glad that you'd finally be able to create life without the services of a woman?

God is that you?

Re:Obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26423997)

Over half the world population has been able to create life for some time. Aren't you all a little late to the party? -_-

We must share the means of production with the workers!

Re:Obligatory (1)

noname444 (1182107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424633)

Are you saying that almost half of the world's population is infertile, or that more than half of the world's population is capable of parthenogenesis?

Can't decide which.

Obligatory, Part Deux (0, Redundant)

tool462 (677306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424647)

I see your Obligatory with my Obligatory xkcd reference:

http://xkcd.com/387/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Obligatory (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424663)

Over half the world population has been able to create life for some time. Aren't you all a little late to the party? -_-

Actually it's more like half of the world's population is capable of creating life with help from the other half of the population. It takes two to tango last time I checked.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424673)

This is truly an impressive development! Since when have there been so many humans capable of asexual reproduction?

Here's an NPR story (4, Informative)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423743)

It's a bit nicer than the print article: Here [npr.org]

They are very clear in saying that what they have created is "NOT ALIVE."

This is very interesting work.

Re:Here's an NPR story (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424107)

Would make a weird title for the next Tecmo fighting game: Dead or Not Alive.

Gimme a friggin (-1, Offtopic)

jag7720 (685739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423771)

BREAK

it's life, Jim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26423835)

but not as we know it.

Will never work... (0)

new_breed (569862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423837)

..consciousness precedes matter. Just throwing matter together won't magically instill consciousness.

Re:Will never work... (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423941)

Since when is consciousness a prerequisite for life?

Re:Will never work... (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424049)

Why not? Who says there's not consciousness out there just waiting to take control of some matter, manmade or otherwise?

Re:Will never work... (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424141)

Actually, this has been studied. Awareness appears to be more important then consciousness. The cat will be alive or dead irregardless of whether you are conscious or not.

Re:Will never work... (4, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424339)

..consciousness precedes matter. Just throwing matter together won't magically instill consciousness.

..understanding how the world actually works precedes posting a comment on /. Just throwing comments up on /. won't magically instill understanding of how the world actually works.

Re:Will never work... (1)

offrdbandit (1331649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424387)

...assuming a person with whom you disagree is automatically wrong does not magically make he/she wrong, or anymore detached from reality than you are.

Re:Will never work... (4, Insightful)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424507)

...assuming a person with whom you disagree is automatically wrong does not magically make he/she wrong, or anymore detached from reality than you are.

Unless you can point to any evidence, or even a credible sounding theory, which would back up the claim, I can pretty confidently dismiss it. I'm not assuming anything, other than that an unqualified assertion, of such a controversial nature, should be backed up by something.

Please define the necessary terms... (-1, Flamebait)

Vexler (127353) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423859)

...such as when the researcher in question claims, 'What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting."

What are "some life-like properties"? As soon as she is able to define them explicitly and unambiguously, then I am prepared to start considering her claims.

Re:Please define the necessary terms... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424061)

RTFA, you fucking tool. Your lazy piece-of-shit post contributes exactly zero to the discussion, and was a fucking waste of time, you miserable cuntless bitch.

Instead of demanding explicit and unambiguous explanations, why don't you bother to pull your mom's nuts out of your mouth long enough to click some of the links in TFA, or to use Google, you useless swatch of unwashed perineum.

Re:Please define the necessary terms... (1)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424137)

I would assume they're referring to the automatic self-replication and mutation of the RNA.

Obligatory Dave Barry quote (2, Funny)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424155)

"Life is anything that dies when you stomp on it."

Obligatory Douglas Adamsian response (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424371)

"Life is anything that dies when you stomp on it."

I once killed my glasses.

Re:Please define the necessary terms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424237)

What are "some life-like properties"? As soon as she is able to define them explicitly and unambiguously, then I am prepared to start considering her claims.

I didn't RTFA but, based on the Slashdot summary, I'd imagine that the major "life-like" properties she's referring to are replication and evolution.

As an aside, there isn't actually a precise definition of what it means to be alive. I deal with this myself by considering "alive"-ness to be a multidimensional continuum rather than a binary distinction: something can be more alive in one way and less alive in another way.

For people who feel the need for a binary distinction, though, the debate continues as to where to draw the line and how much relative weight to give the various attributes that are associated with "alive"-ness.

Eh.... (1, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423865)

A scientist enters a research laboratory.

          Dr. Praline: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.

          (The Intern does not respond.)

          Dr. Praline: 'Ello, Miss?

          Intern: What do you mean "miss"?

          Dr. Praline: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!

          Intern: We're closin' for lunch.

          Dr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this enzyme what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very facility.

          Intern: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue... What's,uh... What's wrong with it?

          Dr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

          Intern: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

          Dr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a dead enzyme when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

          Intern: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable compounds, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful refraction!

          Dr. Praline: The compounds don't enter into it. It's stone dead.

          Intern: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!

          Dr. Praline: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Polly enzyme! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show...

          (Intern hits the cage)

          Intern: There, he moved!

          Dr. Praline: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!

          Intern: I never!!

          Dr. Praline: Yes, you did!

          Intern: I never, never did anything...

          Dr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!

          (Takes enzyme out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

          Dr. Praline: Now that's what I call a dead enzyme.

          Intern: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!

          Dr. Praline: STUNNED?!?

          Intern: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

          Dr. Praline: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That enzyme is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged study.

          Intern: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

          Dr. Praline: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?

          Intern: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable creature, id'nit, squire? Lovely compounds!

          Dr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that enzyme when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its slide in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.

          (pause)

          Intern: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that sucker down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its prolapse, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

          Dr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this enzyme wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!

          Intern: No no! 'E's pining!

          Dr. Praline: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This enzyme is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the slide 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-enzyme!!

          (pause)

          Intern: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the microscope) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of enzymes.

          Dr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.

          Intern: I got a slug.

          (pause)

          Dr. Praline: Pray, does it talk?

          Intern: N'nnnot really.

          Dr. Praline: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?

          Intern: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)

          Dr. Praline: Well.

          (pause)

          Intern: (quietly) D'you.... d'you want to come back to my place?

          Dr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.

More conception jokes please! (1, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423885)

This story has been up 8 minutes and I only see 5 posts of the same obvious joke, out of 13 posts. Come on /. get you asses in gear.

Re:More conception jokes please! (3, Funny)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423947)

That's because most men on /. can't last more then 8 min when trying to conceive.

Re:More conception jokes please! (0)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424437)

And most women on /. are incapable of correct grammar and spelling, and therefore unable to be taken seriously.

Re:More conception jokes please! (1)

NickyGotz22 (1427691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423987)

This is bullshit, every time i produce an enzyme no one cares except my dry cleaner and the police

Re:More conception jokes please! (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424129)

OK, here you go:

What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting.

Great they cloned Keanu Reeves...

Re:More conception jokes please! (1)

rishistar (662278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424517)

This story has been up 8 minutes and I only see 5 posts of the same obvious joke, out of 13 posts. Come on /. get you asses in gear.

Well, your primary problem is that to get the conception process going is getting out asses out of gear. For conception purposes, gear does not get put in asses.

Ha! (1)

glidermike (1062790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423935)

"What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting"--Sounds like my last sex partner!

Hopefully... (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423963)

This doesn't end up like that scene in Alien Resurrection where Ripley finds all her failed clones.

Re:Hopefully... (3, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424467)

In an experiment they recently created enzymes that can replicate and evolve.

If there's a chance it can evolve into Natalie Portman we're on the right track at least...

World of Warcraft Players Disappointed (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26423971)

Misread article as "Gamers one step closer to getting a life".

Where's the Jurassic Park tag? (1)

jadedoto (1242580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424003)

Slashdot, you are letting me down!

Evolution (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424041)

In an experiment they recently created enzymes that can replicate and evolve. 'It kind of blew me away,' said team member Tracey Lincoln of the Scripps Research Institute, who is working on her Ph.D.

I wonder what she'd think about this evolution [slashdot.org] .

ultimate proof of materialism? (0, Troll)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424067)

The ultimate proof of not needing a deity or special substance for life (or mind too) would be able to construct it out of raw ingredients. I 99% believe this possible.

Re:ultimate proof of materialism? (1)

offrdbandit (1331649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424337)

Creating "life" in a laboratory hinges more on what our definition of life is than biology. That being said, scientists "creating life" using special equipment, special (non-random) ingredients, highly controlled conditions, etc would in no way prove life can self-generate. That's like saying anyone with access to gold and a diamond I can make a diamond ring.

Re:ultimate proof of materialism? (1, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424407)

Nope, this does not serve as a proof that a deity is unnecessary, since the research is based on observations of life. In other words, even if this is successful, already existing life was a prerequisite.

You would have a proof that life can create life through observation and replication, but nothing more. You're still faced with the question of where the life that created life came from.

Rumour has it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424123)

That the hippies experimented with creating life in the 70's, man. I'm not quite sure how it worked, there were a lot of drugs involved... Something about a doo hicky and the cha cha?

I just saw play about Mary Wollastonecraft Shelly (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424225)

And I was musing that her dream of man creating life is still unfulfilled two centuries later. Stories about magician animating the non-living are as old as man, but hers became iconic.

Andrew Crosse (2, Informative)

Miamicoastguard (1117151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424229)

If you haven't already heard of Andrew Crosse and his experiments this is well worth a look. http://www.spartechsoftware.com/dimensions/mystical/AndrewCroise.htm [spartechsoftware.com] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Crosse [wikipedia.org] The biochemical experiments conducted in 1837 produced insects which were later named acari or Acarus Crossii

Life-like? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424363)

"What we have is non-living, but we've been able to show that it has some life-like properties, and that was extremely interesting."

Sounds like my ex-wife.

It's alive...It's ALIVE!!! (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424423)

The really sad part about this story is somehow, somewhere, someone is going to throw a billion dollars at this research if they promise to focus on the penis first.

At least that's what my spam horoscope told me....

Andromeda, here we come! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424439)

Last week's news was how the Milky Way is bigger and approaching Andromeda faster than thought before.
This week's news is how the Andromeda Strain is much closer than we thought before.

I think this is scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424485)

You may shout I'm anti-science and so be it then (even though I'm working on my PhD in physics). I still think this is scary.

Nothing succeeds like success (1)

ardle (523599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424493)

Nothing evolves like evolution!

Replacing a "Lifeform" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26424501)

Hopefully they'll be able to dilute the nigger gene pool enough so that no further black, gorilla-like, half-humans are able to reproduce. Think about how much of a crime free world we'd live in! And think about all the properly spoken English! Say it with me now: No more niggers! No more niggers! WOOT! FRIST PIST

Not life...not even close (1, Informative)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424625)

TFA is just more 'create life' hype to get research funding dollars.

From the article: "Specifically, the researchers synthesized RNA
enzymes that can replicate themselves without the help of any proteins
or other cellular components, and the process proceeds indefinitely.
"Immortalized" RNA, they call it, at least within the limited
conditions of a laboratory. More significantly, the scientists
then mixed different RNA enzymes that had replicated, along with some
of the raw material they were working with, and let them compete in
what's sure to be the next big hit: "Survivor: Test Tube."

Not even sure from TFA what the "breakthrough" is supposed to
be...'self-replicating RNA' or 'immortalized RNA?' UC Santa
Cruz researchers worked [physorg.com]
out the structure of such a molecule two years ago.
This would be slightly more impressive if the researchers could claim
that their immortal RNA was capable of de novo synthesis [wikipedia.org]
but the only claim they make is that no 'proteins' or 'cellular
components' are required for replication from their "raw material"
which is apparently some type of RNA.

more crap from nowhere (-1, Troll)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26424661)

I watched my couch go from being brand new, to a little used, to old. So, in effect, as I watch my couch age it has probably evolved as much as this scientist's test tube jelly and shown an equal number of "non-living but life-like properties".
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