A microscopic photograph of fluorescent-stained Spirochaeta americana. The red spiral-shaped figures are dead cells; green ones are living. Credit: Richard B. Hoover, Elena Pikuta and Asim Bej, NASA/NSSTC University of Alabama at Huntsville, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
MO (short for Molecule)
MOLLY (short for Molecule)
MO & MOLLY are a married couple.
Honey, where are my glasses?
Honey, don’t you remember, the doctor manipulated your vision gene, and so you don’t need your specs anymore.
Oh, right. But where’s my iPod?
Honey, now I really think you’ve lost your…marbles…I mean your brain…I mean…Oh, I don’t know what I mean anymore…we’re so tiny and have such miniscule brains. But one thing for sure: WE DON’T HAVE EARS…so you’re just dreaming about that iPod!
You’re right, and I’ll stop my inquisition, but I do have one more question. When is our appointment with the doctor?
The one that’s going to change us into a new life form.
I’m not sure. Let me look for the appointment card. Oh, here it is, on the green sofa in the back of our Petri Dome. It says: Monday at 2:00 P.M.
Good! We still have time to do a little gambling before we’re transformed into a new form.
Right. I’ll start packing our things. Go ahead and start the Microbe Bus, and get it warm. Oh, I can’t wait to get out of this Petri Dome and go on a little outing!
QUOTES BELOW are from Life Out There
by Dennis Overbye
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Reproduction is the job of any life,” he explained, but Earthly organisms have evolved a spectacular set of tricks to improve the odds of success---everything from peacock feathers to whale songs. Dr. Joyce’s molecules have not yet surprised him by striking out on their own to invent the molecular equivalent of writing a hit pop song.
Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School and his collaborators have embarked on an ambitious project to build an artificial cell that can replicate and presumably evolve.
“In my view, a terran laboratory will make synthetic life before NASA or the E.S.A [European Space Agency] ”.
Dr. Steven Benner
The Benner group has: Initiated synthetic biology as a field. The Benner group was the first to synthesize a gene for an enzyme, and used organic synthesis to prepare the first artificial genetic systems. These systems have been used to direct the synthesis of artificial proteins having unnatural amino acids, in FDA-approved clinical assays for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C that improves the medical care of over 400,000 patients annually, and to support the first artificial chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution.
IT'S ABOUT RENEWABLE RESOURCES!