"We Will Send Robots to Read the Genomes of Alien Life Forms and Replicate Them Back on Earth"
Geege Schuman stashed this in Science Too
<Venter, the scientist famed for his role in sequencing the human genome, has answered a question that lies at the heart of biology: “What is life?” Life, he asserts, is wholly reducible to the “DNA machines” and “protein robots” that operate within cells, and he hopes to prove it by constructing organisms entirely from scratch, detailing an ambitious vision for a future in which custom-made organisms heal the planet, unlock life's origins and extend humanity's reach beyond Earth in his new book, Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life.
Venter believes scientists will soon be designing basic organisms to include features useful in farming or medicine, as well as sending robots into space to read the sequence of alien life forms and replicate them back on Earth: “In years to come it will be increasingly possible to create a wide variety of [synthetic] cells from computer-designed software. The creation of cells from scratch will open up extraordinary possibilities.”>
What's the difference between designing a robot organism and designing a living organism?
Is it just the materials used?
<Venter predicts in the future machines will be able to analyse the make up of genomes and transmit this through the internet or even space, creating more possibilities in the search for alien life: “The day is not far off when we will be able to send a robotically controlled genome sequencing unit to other planets to read the DNA sequence of any alien microbe life that may be there. If we can . . . beam them back to Earth we should be able to reconstruct their genomes. The synthetic version of a Martian genome could then be used to recreate Martian life on Earth.”>
After watching Prometheus I'm not sure this is a good idea.