Is It Artificial Life or Is It Merely a List of 381 Genes?

July 13 2007

A lot of vocal, ink and electronic noise has been raised over the "Minimal Bacterial Genome" patent application by the J. Craig Venter Institute.

Articles in numerous journals, "The Economist" and "Wired" among them, have reported on the praise and concern expressed regarding patent application Number 20070122826, posted by the U.S. Patent Office on May 31, 2007.

Check out the two articles in the "Patents" category of our June 2007 report, entitled

"Patent Pending" (The Economist)

"Scientists Apply for First Patent on Synthetic Life Form" (Wired)

and read the actual patent application. You'll need to type or paste in the patent number 20070122826. (Any other way to get to the patent requires a super-long URL).

What are  your thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly of synthetic life forms?

By the way, Dr. Venter believes the technology also can be used for producing cheap energy. See our blog post.


Category: Open to Debate
Filed under: Patents/IP