‘Artificial life’ breakthrough announced by scientists

BBC News reports: “Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA.

The researchers constructed a bacterium’s ‘genetic software’ and transplanted it into a host cell.

The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species ‘dictated’ by the synthetic DNA.

The advance, published in Science, has been hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms.

Some also suggest that the potential benefits of the technology have been over-stated.

But the researchers hope eventually to design bacterial cells that will produce medicines and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases.

The team was led by Dr Craig Venter of the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Maryland and California.

He and his colleagues had previously made a synthetic bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium into another.

Now, the scientists have put both methods together, to create what they call a ‘synthetic cell’, although only its genome is truly synthetic.

Dr Venter likened the advance to making new software for the cell.

The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome. They sequenced its genetic code and then used ‘synthesis machines’ to chemically construct a copy.

Dr Venter told BBC News: ‘We’ve now been able to take our synthetic chromosome and transplant it into a recipient cell – a different organism.

‘As soon as this new software goes into the cell, the cell reads [it] and converts into the species specified in that genetic code.’

The new bacteria replicated over a billion times, producing copies that contained and were controlled by the constructed, synthetic DNA.

‘This is the first time any synthetic DNA has been in complete control of a cell,’ said Dr Venter…” (A final sign – Daniel 12:4)

China aims to be become supercomputer superpower

BBC News reports: “Its Nebulae machine at the National Super Computer Center in Shenzhen, was ranked second on the biannual Top 500 supercomputer list.

For the first time, a second Chinese supercomputer appears in the list of the top ten fastest machines.

However, the US still dominates the list with more than half the Top 500, including the world’s fastest, known as Jaguar.

The Cray computer, which is owned by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has a top speed of 1.75 petaflops.

One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.

It is used by scientists conducting research in astrophysics, climate science and nuclear energy.

By comparison, China has 24 machines in the list. Its fastest has a top speed of 1.20 petaflops, more than double the speed of its previous top supercomputer. However, it has a theoretical top speed of nearly 3 petaflops, which would make it the fastest in the world.

The fastest machine in the UK – which has 38 supercomputers on the list – is housed at the University of Edinburgh. It has a top speed of 0.27 petaflops.

‘The Top 500 list definitely has an element of flag waving,’ said Dr Jon Lockley, manager of the Oxford Supercomputing Centre…” (The beginning of Big Brother, the attempted mark of the antichrist embedded in every human being as prophesied in Revelation 13:15 – 18 is being readied as the European Union Bilderberg plan has been set for 2017 as laid out in a conference held at Chantilly Virginia in November of 2008.)