“My God, what have [we] done?”

A slightly modified lyric from the Talking Heads’ hit “Once in a Lifetime,” well sums up the media‘s reaction to Craig Venter’s recently published (express published, actually) work describing the construction of a bacterial cell that runs on a synthetic genome he and his two teams of researchers call “JCVI-syn1.0.”

What do you think about this?

I asked several Brandeis Life Sciences faculty what they thought, and encouraged creativity in their responses.  Dr. Jim Haber sums up his feelings in the form of a Haiku:

Craig Venter plays God
creates new Mycoplasma
press screams Frankenstein!
Please feel free to leave any comments you have.  To quote Venter himself, “We encourage the continued discourse” (translation: bring it).

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