How Close Are We to Harnessing Synthetic Life?


WHAT IF WE TOLD YOU THAT IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE, YOU COULD LOG ONTO YOUR COMPUTER AND PROGRAM LIVING CELLS LIKE SOFTWARE? EVER SINCE SCIENTISTS UNLOCKED THE SECRET
LANGUAGE OF BIOLOGY – DNA– WE’VE MADE MASSIVE STRIDES IN UNDERSTANDING THE ‘BASE CODE’ THAT UNDERLIES ALL LIVING THINGS. AND OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES, WE’VE BECOME
SO OBSESSED WITH THIS CODE THAT SCIENTISTS ARE EXPLORING HOW TO EDIT GENOMES AND EVEN CREATE BRAND NEW ONES THAT NEVER EXISTED BEFORE. SO, HOW CLOSE ARE WE TO HARNESSING SYNTHETIC LIFE? – Life is a technology. It’s a technology we didn’t create. BUT WHAT IF WE COULD LEARN TO HARNESS IT? THAT’S THE PRINCIPLE BEHIND “SYNTHETIC
BIOLOGY,” THE EMERGING STUDY OF BUILDING LIVING SYSTEMS. YOU MIGHT BE IMAGINING ARMIES OF FRANKENSTEIN CREATURES… AND WE’LL GET TO THAT… BUT WHAT WE MEAN FOR THE TIME BEING IS CREATING ANIMAL PRODUCTS, INDIVIDUALIZED MEDICAL THERAPIES, AND EVEN TRANSPLANTABLE ORGANS…. ALL STARTING WITH SYNTHETIC DNA
AND CELLS IN A LAB. – I look at them as 3D printers, but the most
powerful and successful 3D printers that exist today, because they can print thousands and
thousands of different materials all at once, and they can make more of themselves. And it comes with a programming language:
DNA. – Pulling the principles of engineering design,
and then the real fundamentals of molecular biology together is really powerful, because
it makes you think of biology as a design medium, if you like,   using genetic material
as the building blocks. AND WHEN IT COMES TO SYNTHESIZING LIFE, THERE
ARE TWO MAIN SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. One is actually trying to build artificial
cells. Actually starting from the bottom-up, and
saying how do I build a living cell in a synthetic way? Either using synthetic, chemical components, or using
natural, biological components, how do I build a cell, basically, from first principles,
from scratch, bottom-up? IN 2010, CRAIG VENTER’S RESEARCH TEAM MADE
HISTORY WITH THIS APPROACH WHEN THEY CREATED THE WORLD’S FIRST ‘SYNTHETIC ORGANISM,’
A BACTERIUM MADE ENTIRELY OF SYNTHETIC DNA. – And most recently, out of the UK, Jason Chen
and his team synthesized the E. coli genome. That’s pretty remarkable. That’s a four million base pair genome. – We now can specify, we want a genetic sequence,
A, T, G, C, T, T, T, T, T, A, whatever. We can send that information across the web
to a company, and then they will put it into their production pipeline, and then we will
get sent back a chemical synthesized piece of DNA. – It’s only going to get faster, and cheaper,
and easier from here. BUT IT’S STILL NOT AS FAST AND CHEAP AS EDITING AN EXISTING GENOME TO SYNTHESIZE NEW LIFE. AND TO BE HONEST, STARTING FROM SCRATCH MIGHT
NOT BE WORTH IT. – A purist would say you have to make all the
cellular components from atoms, okay. No cheating, no using bits of life. You can make fully synthetic DNA chemically,
but for most purposes it’s not any more useful than something that’s semi-synthetic. – Now, the other way is actually taking existing cells, but re-engineering them, to have particular functionality to the extent of completely re-synthesizing the whole genome, and redesigning it Putting it back into the cell, which means
it’s still a species, but it’s got a human-designed genome in it. Building that code to perform a function,
or to do a design, or to make something. AND THAT’S JUST WHAT WE’RE
BEGINNING TO EXPLORE. WITH GENETIC ENGINEERING TOOLS BECOMING MORE
ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER BEFORE, RESEARCHERS WANT TO USE SYNTHESIZED GENOMES TO ENHANCE HUMAN
HEALTH. For simple things like detecting infections,
or detecting environmental pollutants, we can now engineer bacterial cells that will
detect arsenic or fluorine or any of these toxic chemicals, and will change color like a pH strip. THESE BACTERIA COULD PROTECT US FROM CONSUMING TOXINS IN CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER, FOR EXAMPLE. AND ANDREW AND HIS TEAM AT HUMANE GENOMICS
ARE WORKING TO DEVELOP A LIBRARY OF SYNTHETIC VIRUSES THAT COULD LEAD TO CUSTOMIZED CANCER
THERAPIES. The virus is like a USB stick. You know it’s going to dock with the particular
cancer cell, and it’s going to load a program into that cell. Now we get to write that program to make it
even more specific for the cancer cell. We’re working with dogs, and dog cancers,
to gain experience. The cancer that we’re working with first,
it’s a bone cancer. So we put in little switches into the viral
genome, so it’s only active in a bone cancer and you can measure its killing activity relative
to normal cells. Like the first attempt at anything, it’s not
going to cure cancer, but we demonstrated that we could go from a file on a computer
to a virus particle that could infect a cancer cell, and we did it in a relatively short
period of time for a relatively low cost. OTHER RESEARCHERS HOPE TO TAKE ON THE FASHION
INDUSTRY WITH LAB-MADE VERSIONS OF TRADITIONAL BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS LIKE LEATHER, OR SILK. BUT PERHAPS THE MOST AMBITIOUS PLAN INVOLVES
“BIOREMEDIATION”––PREVENTING OR COUNTERBALANCING ECOLOGICAL DAMAGE  USING MICROORGANISMS. The concept is you have organisms that are
engineered that would go out and either start degrading plastics, start using plastic as
an energy source, possibly start using toxic components, cleaning up environments, using
natural microbial systems. OKAY, OKAY, WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING––WHAT
ABOUT SYNTHETIC HUMANS?! ENTER HUMAN-GENOME PROJECT-WRITE, OR JUST,
GENOME-PROJECT WRITE. A SEQUEL TO ‘THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT,’
GP-WRITE IS BRINGING TOGETHER OVER ONE HUNDRED INSTITUTIONS WORLDWIDE IN ONE COMMUNAL QUEST:
TO SYNTHESIZE THE HUMAN GENOME. You want a human cell which has new properties. You want to make something that has properties
like virus resistance or senescence, aging resistance. You could do it with organic chemistry, or
you could do it with biochemistry, or you could do it by editing of living cells. You could build human parts, meaning transplantable
human parts, and from that you could build large portions of a human being. But right now I think we’re in a time where
that’s on hold, in part for lack of strong arguments for why you would want to do it. INSTEAD, THESE RESEARCHERS ARE LOOKING TO
UNDERSTAND THE GENETIC SYMPHONY THAT MAKES HUMANS TICK, BY DEMYSTIFYING OUR CELLS’
INSTRUCTION SETS. The simplest microbe in the world, which has
got the smallest number of instruction sets, we don’t even know what 40% of those instructions
do. So our knowledge base is still quite limited. It’s like redesigning an airplane with components
and half of the components you don’t know how they function. That’s where we’re at. AND IF YOU THINK TINKERING WITH GENOMES IS
A BAD IDEA WHEN WE KNOW SO LITTLE ABOUT THEM, YOU’RE NOT ALONE. I MEAN, WHAT IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG? SHOULD I LIVE IN FEAR OF EVIL SYNTHETIC HUMANOIDS
TAKING OVER THE WORLD? I think fear and concern and dystopic narratives
is a good thing. I think it’s far better to have too much discussion
of how things can go wrong than having too little. We’ve been using living organisms to produce
and manufacture things for thousands of years. We’ve been using yeast to make bread, alcohol. What we’re doing now is much more systematic. It just opens up all the possibilities. We have to frame it as the exploration of
inner space. Instead of going up into the stars, we’re
going down into the cells, and learning how to get there, and how to explore, and how
to manipulate. It’s as important as going out to the stars,
because if we get to Mars and we don’t have a way to grow food and to keep ourselves healthy,
we’re not going to survive there for very long. We just have to start opening the doors and
saying, “Come on in. Take a look. Don’t be afraid. Let’s all learn and grow, and use this
incredible technology for good.” SO IF DNA IS THE NEXT HTML, HOW CLOSE ARE
WE TO HARNESSING SYNTHETIC LIFE? This is a very fast-moving field. I think in 10 years time, 15 years time, we
will know enough about microbial genetic engineering to be building microbes that could be potentially
quite novel. We went from 2015 being able to edit two genes
to 2017 doing 25 genes in the germline to now we can do 26,000 which is actually relatively
easy in the era of exponentially improving technology. I think we could have mammalian systems, including
human, that are multi virus-resistant within I’m guessing two to six years. All you have to do is be able to write a new
genome, that nature hasn’t created, and   by that definition, I’d say we’re already there. We’re quite far away from even thinking about
a human. As the technology increases, there will be
more interventions into multicellular organisms, and we need to be mindful of what they are,
and have good reasons for why we’re doing it.

Comments 100

  • these guys said they give dogs cancer wtf

  • Everything discussed on Seeker are things we probably won't have until 2100

  • We need to make an organism to turn water into wine 😀 😀

  • i don't think she's wearing a bra

  • Vaccines created for the flu virus are created from life, synthetically. New plants, flowers & "pet breeds" are similarly created synthetically.

  • I'm calling it, Clone Wars with AI and robots in the future

  • If it's synthetic, it's not alive dummies.

  • Do it first cheaters

  • Omg imagine if we could fully repair the human body in just days, that would be the coolest thing ever.

  • I wasn't thinking anything about application of building humans when you said that. I was thinking about the grey goo possibility.

  • Here comes the zombie apocalypse 🤣

  • What's the name of the first soundtrack?

  • Yes!! Can't wait to marry a cute synthetic robot mix girl, yeah baby!!!.

  • MY GOD! Finally my dream of becoming a cat boy is about to come true

  • If you want to prolong the healthy human lifespan, please donate to the "SENS research foundation".
    https://www.sens.org/get-involved/donate/
    You can be a part of this revolution!

  • I was shook to see a new bitch, my parents told me not to talk to strangers

  • Conspiracy go🏏

  • Are the virus DNA how to working in virus body did we Unstand ?

  • Infectious virus to cure cancer! That's the story of I'm a legend. I wonder who will be will Smith in the real life.

  • Why does this feel like some alien shit

  • I'm not thinking about synthetic humans taking over the world (eye roll). Plastic eating cells will eat the plastics in your intergrated chips, and car while you're using it. It will be worse than paper, wood, rusting metal, or food. Does your body have compounds it might think, or evolve to think similar to plastic? Plastic is made from organic molecules.

  • a doctor will engineer the perfect wife. Then no more divorce. All the skanks on child support will be in the history books.

  • They're sure taking their time on that next Grand Theft Auto.

  • I think we should clone Adolph Hitler and shoot him when hes a baby.

  • It's very educational video and interesting to watch

  • Didn't that chinese scientist get arrested for making at least 2 additions to the crispr family tree?

  • If Desoxyribonucleoacid (DNA for short) becomes available for medical purposes of identifying and even killing pathogens the human/animal body has a hard time dealing with, I don't see why not.
    If bacteria act the way they do through natural selection isn't that precisely what human beings are primed for by the passage of time?
    Nature needs a helping hand because it has limits, this is the moment that humans developed enough to understand how it works.
    Synthetic/artificial or manufactured by natural processes have only one difference, the former requires human intervention and the latter doesn't, the outcome is still the same.
    (e.g, the fibers your sweater is made from can either come from the plants harvested for use or synthesized by man, it still has the same molecular structure as the same properties)
    Don't be afraid, dare to ask questions, follow the trail wherever it may lead you and draw your conclusions based on observations.

  • This tech is like A.I., a double edged sword so I say slow it down a bit but continue with the progress

  • In this video Dr. Church says that they started from editing 2 genes in 2015 to 25 genes in 2017 to 26000 genes right now (that too "relatively easy") and thinks they can have multi-virus resistant mammalian systems like humans within the next 2 to 6 years. I don't know if I heard that correctly so had to replay that segment. Why is there so less discussion about this in the popular media?

  • Yep, resident evil is close

  • Ok quickly make the fastest growing plant in history so we can stop climate change. . . bring back dinosaurs to keep plants in check tho! Trust me nothing will go wrong,this plan is fool proof!

  • I think synthetic DNA is a much larger threat to the human race than a nuclear war or AI.

    If it is easy and cheap to write DNA, how long will it take until someone creates a supervirus that eradicates the human race? For example combining the flu virus with Ebola/HIV/etc.

    It does not even have to be intentional. Any software programmer can confirm how easy bugs happen.

  • woah i was just on the NCBi site and saw that you can literally download the genomic sequence of pretty much any animal. A few hours later i see this.

  • Genetic programmer sounds cool for a future job.

  • Engineered weaponized viruses anyone?

  • BOLD OF YOU TO ASSUME THAT I'M NATURAL

  • I'd really like to say that the professional development of the host, Olivia, is clearly visible. This presentation skills and the overall impression is way better than the last time I had a pleasure of watching an episode featuring her. Keep up the good work!

  • Ethics could already be off the window, judging by comments.

  • This is fascinating, I am sure that this is the way to democratize and find the cure for cancer, but on the other hand, this is not a simple system and nothing else, on the other hand it implies great security risks, it would be good that Seeker can make you dream of all the beautiful and useful things, but on the other hand, without marketing in a concrete way how you can create true security with this, I think you have to democratize it but this is at the same time it must be strongly regulated by law, and computer security I believe that laboratories in this should be able to be continuously audited with national security. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTQmylxiV3g

  • If this technology is well audited, it can, for example, focus on medicine, the fight against addictions, I am sure that this is the way to find medicines that curb all addictions, to tobacco, alcohol and especially drugs hard I really believe that if the world the common people ceases to be trapped in it, and find a quick solution for corrupt political governments, unscrupulous businessmen, some corrupt corporations, they are all mostly in my country and globally enslaving people with Addictions, in my country is a complete social genocide, and a great risk of disintegration of society, so if this technology can find these solutions, they will exist and annihilate the power of drug trafficking to enslave people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZvPZke8NXc

  • Humans are animals that are breeding themselfs, by using artificial, manmade evolutionary pressures, for thousands of years now.
    Why should we stop there? If you can make things, including people, better, do it. Just play it save, while you do it and don't go full Gattaca on the rest.

  • This for fuels https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExOXF1x3N1g

  • I want a tail, like a saiyain

  • "So, if DNA is really the next HTMl.." No comment on that @Nils Carlier did !
    "…evil synthetic humanoids taking over the world…"
    Oh I love the playful naivete that the Seeker sometimes shows.
    Those humanoids could be killed.
    The worst part would be a mutated synthetic virus that evolves and can't be stopped. Bye bye humanity.
    Sorry for the grimness but as Paul Freemont ( bald guy ) said " We need to be mindful.. ".
    I would also add cautious.
    This are revolutionary methods and amazing research but together with the benefits there will also be misuse.
    Together with standing in awe at this marvelous developments it is imperative for us to use our critical thinking.
    Sheep are dangerous.

  • This technology, if it is well audited, can find a quick solution against the serious tendency, especially in my country, of the social disintegration caused by the corruption of the Drug Traffiking, I do not know if you can read between the lines, the great opportunity that this technology of saving humanity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhUuFCrDOlw&t=9s

  • It's not about stopping feeling alive and being happy, it's just about making common sense, here is a new test how creativity can make you happy, although I think it's a bit explicit the common sense that I want to communicate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLf9s0RolH0

  • But I think we're no where close to making a synthetic brain, right?

  • I'm getting a Death Stranding vibes already

  • "Life is a technology… A technology we didn't create" – I haven't wheezed so hard since forever.

  • Security is and important as creativity, i wish occidental countries can have the same security as the creativity they have https://www.facebook.com/SeekerMedia/videos/404872753554991/

  • Now u see these geniuses laying the foundation, and tomorrow some kid will be born at the right place at the right time and he'll start a company and take advantage of the brilliant work that has been done and the media will brand him a Savior.

  • This is truly amazing I’m so excited for the future of our race …. great things will be done

  • short answer, never. long answer, how ous what we have not synthetic life?

  • This is very exciting, and so many great applications. But we have to keep in mind that humans, we are not very wise. As long as greed, the profit motive, jealousy, narcissism, and the desire for power remain strong motivating factors in humanity, we will inevitably make mistakes, and mess things up. I don't think we as a species are ready to handle this new technology in the best manner.

  • Girl is so fucken fine af

  • 23:27 in, already been done..!
    By forbidden science because it proves Genesis..!
    https://youtu.be/R8VyUsVOic0

  • 6:24 in, water frequency The Forbidden Science Riws was able to reproduce resonant frequencies to destroy cancer over a hundred years ago..

    https://youtu.be/nkQLlZxXLeI

    Your question has already been done over a hundred years ago..!
    But the FISHBIND'S of drug overlords big Farma of the day shut him down..! most of this discovery before the turn of last century the 18th century..!

    If we are going to go to Mars we're going to have to know all about water duplication of DNA with digital introduce frequency 2 water with the Archimedes water golden ratio frequency..!

  • CUstomized💦 CAncer💦 therapy

  • So they want to build an emergence Piper's?

  • What can go wrong by writing your own DNA.

  • A blue screen of DNA when you try to upgrade your DNA. Then be stuck in a boot loop.

  • When talking about DNA it’s important to remember that it contains a very specific sequence of nucleotides. The specific sequence is what gives DNA it’s value. To say it another way, DNA is 100% useless without this specific sequence.
    So it doesn’t matter how much physical DNA you have. What matters is the specific sequence(genetic code). It is this nucleotide arrangement that allows organisms to grow, function, and reproduce. A cell cannot even divide without this specific sequence.

    When scientists create DNA in the lab they will have to make sure that ALL the nucleotides are in the correct order. Of course a supercomputer will be required to do this. When you think about it cells are like supercomputers. After all, a cell must actuality store, copy, and transmit vital genetic information. Because the genetic code is so important, the cell goes to great lengths to insure genome stability. The cell has many error correcting systems. These systems are very sophisticated and scientists are still trying understand how they work.
    During cell division, the cell tries to rightly make a copy of the entire genome just like scribes try to faithfully copy a text.

    However, just as scribes are not perfect, neither is the cell. Sometimes mutations(errors) slip in. Throughout history cancer(a genetic mutation) has ravished humans and it still does so today. Mutations are the cause of hundreds of diseases and disorders and as time goes on, mutations impose an increasingly heavy 'genetic burden' on a species. In the future scientists may invent nanotechnology. With this new technology we could repair the genome directly. We could even stomp out cancer. After all, organisms that are less prone to cancer are the ones who repair their DNA the best.

    After all this we can conclude that DNA is the program of biological life. However programs always require a brilliant programmer. There are no known cases of programs arising from something other than a mind. And DNA is a millions times more complex than any man-made technology. So where did the information system of life come from? The bible has the answer. The bible makes it clear that God(Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) created ALL biological life in 6 days. All the credit goes to God.

  • 😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

  • I thought social media was already synthetic life……

  • So, next step: Build the genetical Adam and Eve, by comparing the genomes of all of humanity, without all the genetic disorders.

  • Time travelers have entered the chat

  • Humans: Creates life with tech

    God: Ohh so I'm a joke now

  • Nobody:

    YouTubers in 2083 : I turned myself into a dog human hybrid Challenge (WENT WRONG)

  • The problem with synthetic DNA is that it's not folded properly to express the desired "active" segment of code. (Couldn't the remaining 40%, as they said in the video, be the part of the code that describes the "origami" folding)

  • Can we reverse diseases and learning disabilities?

  • Oh great, so it might not be too long before we can send real virus's over the internet?? lol

    I'm gonna start wearing disposable gloves when using my laptop now!!

  • Hm,but they can't create and put in consciousness in those Things
    Can they?

  • I wonder if they gave those dogs cancer so they could test on them

  • The organism is only as immortal as its environment. Creating an immortal organism merely guarantees that the individual will die of a disaster.

  • "If DNA is really the next HTML"
    My reaction right after she said it: Pfff

  • Please don't let the jehovah's witnesses get their hands on this

  • like why aren't people that try to do that shot on sight?

  • This is, without a doubt, the scariest video I've ever seen.

  • It would be one answer to the Fermi paradox, any civilization that develops past a certain point will develop a technology that will kill them all(either by accident or deliberate). Thus the reason we haven't detected alien civilizations yet, they all died off too quickly.

  • Scientists are just pure evil..

  • We are part of a simulation

  • Ultimate Gundam! 😀

  • i would like to see how they operate d.n.a and cells and organisms instead of those blueprint pictures and talkers gestures.
    and, by the way, when girl said "i know what you all thinking" i was thinking "if those microbes will eat plastic – they definitely will be capable of eating all package industry and then when all plastic will be gone they will eat humans".

  • No cheating!!!!!!! I want atom by atom

  • This confirms the idea we live in a matrix! Yes they can cure cancer! Scientist- “we can program it to do what ever we want”
    Me- program it to kill cancer!
    Pharmaceutical company funding the project- no make it deliver drugs!

  • All that we are doing is against God's will. Sooner or latter, God is going punish all of us.

  • Lies, this is just the pre-plot to Westworld. Do not believe these machines with their lies and propaganda. Praise God, he designed human DNA…

  • weebs have joined the server

  • Can this solve the mystery of consciousness??

  • Deicide end the wrath of god. Lets create gods!

  • You have to have church approval

  • Immortality aging resistence and virus resistance

  • I want to know how long until we can replace our cells that have already started to break down do to mitochondria losing energy.

  • the host is cute

  • So, when can I make myself a radiationagedisease proof body? I think you skipped over that part…

  • can we cure AIDS and other currently in-curable diseases with this technology ?

  • Make this Sexy, not pornographic at all, just Sexy, when women with their talent musical voice can capture imagination and help to open the laxatives of the Heart, when women can capture your heart it is then when you start doings things for good for example, getting your intelect for this kind of usefull business.

  • Let Seeker Narrators Brainstorm ower imagination for the common good, but i think that Seeker has to go with longer videos full documentries and try to create a science education platform https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udi0rk3jZYM

  • This will probably turn the oceans black and bring on the locusts.

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