Now we really are starting to play god.
It's alive!! Igor, it's alive!!!!!! Paul
Mel Tisdale
Scary! It all depends on the validity of the comment: "One day we will even be able to make something that looks very much like the real thing." As long as it does not actually get so close to the real thing that they are indistinguishable I imagine it will a good thing, indeed, a very good thing.
However, this could be the first step along a road, albeit a very long road, but a road of finite length nonetheless, that could take us into a very dark place. As long as we keep that in mind and keep an eye on it just in case, all should be well. Clearly anything that enables us to increase our knowledge of living cells can only be a good thing, can't it?
I am tempted to close this comment with the instruction: 'discuss'
Didier Newman
So, is the origin of life just the consummation of a peculiar electromagnetic bond, the last step in a logical and finite recipe? Equally, is a cell or a body just an organic machine, a set made of pieces? If it is, can machines be born and die? What is to be born or die apart from acquiring or losing certain qualitative configuration? But, is there a qualitative leap detached from raw matter-energy transformations, a sort of magical doorway that living beings go through two times? Therefore, is there a beginning or it would be as finding a cut in the material history of the universe, an infinite void that human language patches now for convenience? In the same way, is there death? If not, what are we without beginning and ending? What is life apart from knowledge and its technology? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, a short preview in Just another suggestion in order to freethinking for a while.
Michael Hissom
Just a matter of time now, the beginning of life will no longer be a mystery...
Matt Fletcher
Just to clearify, living organisms in there most basic form are able to replicate since replication wasn't mentioned I presume it cannot. So although it mimics a cell closely and can perform it's function it's not a living organism, much like robots these days look like humans and can perform a number of the same functions they do not replicate so are not considered living.
This doesn't mean we haven't created living organisms before (we have been playing god/creator for years) it just means this is not such an example.
Regardless of it not being a living organism it is both very exciting and very cool technology with promising applications in medicine and material engineering.
Remy Smith
Future generations of Cylons will all commemorate this day.
Lee van Laer
A cell can do many things this entity cannot: just to cite a few simple and quite obvious examples, turn its chemical factory towards reproduction or defense.
Thus, the claim that the scientists have "created a cell" is patently false; they have created a limited physical structure that mimics some very, very few cellular processes, and that's all.
So the claims made in the article are, IUMO, deeply misleading and wildly exaggerated.
Aside from that, it's all wonderful.
Chas Newport
I think this is what scientists call "Frickin awesome, dude." My first thought is making biofuels or food proteins from wastewater, sewage, oil spills, CO2... heavy metal filtration.
Of course there will be sinister uses and well even meant ideas can go wrong. We've artificially introduced species to predate another or to act as a biological tool and cocked up ecosystems loads of times.
Bob Ehresman
Yet another paving stone on the arguably inevitable path to Grey Goo.