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The "AudACiOus" Project aims to create make it easier to re-program living cells

Discussion:  Scientists in synthetic biology have discovered a new way to re-program living cells; the “AudACiOus” Project hopes to create an “operating system” for living cells.  The cellular operating system will be designed to simultaneously run numerous “applications”, while managing interactions between multiple types of “hardware” and responding to a multitude of “commands from users”, but on a much tinier scale.  These new re-programmed cells could lead to new life forms that could clean up pollutants or cure disease.

Source:  CNN News

Date:  November 18, 2011

Link:  http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/tech/innovation/program-living-cells/index.html?iref=allsearch

Discussion Questions:

  • With synthetic biology, scientists can potentially change the makeup of one living cell to something totally different.  Why is this field of study controversial?
  • Could this be a form of genetic engineering?

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