Synthetic human genomes may be produced one day, resulting in the development of an entirely artificial human being. But, how close is science to creating a living, breathing human being from nothing but a mixture of chemicals?
Harvard University held a closed-door meeting on the subject on May 10. Attendees, including researchers, business leaders and others, discussed ideas on developing such artificial gene sequences. Members of the press were not invited to the meetings, generating waves of controversy over what may have been discussed at the get-together.
Human genomes are normally passed on from parent to child, transferring inheritable traits. Creating such a genome may be possible in as little as a decade, organizers of the meeting contend. However, even if the creation of such a genetic code transpired in the coming years, these sequences could only be placed within a cell to test the genome. This would still be a far cry from the creation of an entire synthetically-formed human being.