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April 2nd, 2004
Researchers seek to create a living cell
"Creating a cell from scratch is probably at least 10 years away, but it is going to happen," says Mark Bedau of Reed College, Portland, Ore. "We're in for some very interesting, very profound new ways of thinking about what life is, and about where you draw the boundary between life and nonlife." Combining the traits of artificial cells with nanotechnology, Dr. Rasmussen and colleagues wrote in a recent issue of Science, could produce machines that "would literally form the basis of a living technology possessing powerful capabilities and raising important social and ethical" questions. Adds Prof. Bedau, "It will be crossing a threshold, enabling technologies we can't even imagine now."
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