2016     The synthetic human genome may be coming soon
2016 Scientists talk privately about creating a synthetic human genome
  • In biology, more than any other science, there is quite a lot of restraint. Whether it’s a banned, deadly super-virus or a taboo experiment with a human embryo, there are countless avenues of biology that can be pursued, but which shouldn’t be. Just where the line lies, separating the “weird-but-necessary” experiments from the “hold-on-there-Mengele” experiments, is a constant debate. We’ve seen controversial proposals for cloned human beings and three-parent children, mostly in pursuit of fixing some horrible genetic disease — but now, scientists are starting to rumble about the possibility of creating an all-new human genome from scratch. And that could bring up all new legal and ethical concerns, making the already muddy waters all the more treacherous.

    Scientists are now contemplating the fabrication of a human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes. The prospect is spurring both intrigue and concern in the life sciences community because it might be possible, such as through cloning, to use a synthetic genome to create human beings without biological parents.