Scientist developing `biological fax machine` to copy Martian life
A maverick scientist wants to detect Martian life and bring it back to Earth by using a device called a digital biological converter, or biological teleporter that he`s trying to build.
Sydney: A maverick scientist wants to detect Martian life and bring it back to Earth by using a device called a digital biological converter, or biological teleporter that he`s trying to build.
J. Craig Venter`s machine is merely going to create an organism`s copy from a distant location - more like a biological fax machine.
Venter, famed for human genome`s early sequencing and for his bold proclamations, has predicted that the biological converter is going to be his next invention and will be useful on Earth well before it could ever be used on Mars.
Venter`s system is going to determine the sequence of the DNA units in the genome of an organism and transmit the data electronically.
At a distant location, the genome is going to be synthesised and inserted into what will amount to a blank cell, and "booted up", as Venter puts it.
In other words, the inserted DNA is going to take command of the cell and recreate a copy of the original organism.
Venter`s company, Synthetic Genomics , and his namesake non-profit research institute have already used the technology to help develop an experimental vaccine for the H7N9 bird flu with the drug maker Novartis.