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Synthetic biology and genetics: key components of Kurzweil’s “Singularity”

| | November 16, 2012

Famed futurist Ray Kurzweil estimates that by 2045 we will reach the “Singularity,” a point of no return where people and machine will reach a deep level of integration. This transition will include feature roles for synthetic biology and genetic engineering:

Take synthetic biology , for example, the ability to reprogram the genes of existing creatures to make them do what we want them to do. We might have bacteria create electricity and clean water from waste, produce blood, vaccines, fuels or whatever we fancy. We could recreate specific bodily organs to replace those that are malfunctioning, using your own DNA; boost your immunity against effectively anything; enhance intelligence and memory.

Advances in the speed with which we read genomes have been so dramatic that we now talk about using DNA as a storage device . After all, DNA encodes information in very clear ways and we could manipulate it to encode any information we want. As George Church and Ed Regis write in their thought-provoking recent book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature  , in principle we could store the whole of Wikipedia (in all languages) on a chip the size of a cell, for a cost of $1 for 100,000 copies.

View the original article here: Embracing Your Inner Robot: A Singular Vision Of The Future

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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