Wednesday, February 9, 2011
What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Immortal Micro-Organisms | Popular Science
What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Immortal Micro-Organisms | Popular Science: "Leave it to Darpa, the Pentagon’s advanced-research arm, to bring synthetic biology to a new level of creepiness. For 2011, Darpa has dedicated $6 million to a new program called BioDesign, which according to the agency’s budget is an attempt to eliminate “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement” and create synthetic organisms for specific functions—for instance, microorganisms that clean up oil spills or skin cells that an army medic could use to repair injuries. The twist: Darpa wants organisms “that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.” Just in case, they would be equipped with a “self-destruct” option."