By Jordan Pearson
Craig Venter thinks that sending living organisms to other galaxies on spaceships is “definitely” science fiction. It’s much more realistic, he thinks, to print them on-site using digital representations of their genome. He calls this “biological teleportation.”
Essentially emailing medicine and organisms back and forth between Earth and other planets is just one of the far-future implications of a device developed by Synthetic Genomics, a company founded by Venter, a superstar geneticist and biotechnologist. The tabletop device is called the Digital-to-Biological Converter, or DBC for short, and without a fancy box it looks like a bunch of complicated mechanical crap laid out on a table. The device accepts digital representations of DNA over the internet and reconstructs them on the spot using the chemical building blocks of life—adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. You might recognize their initials from the movie Gattaca.
“Just like a printer, it needs cassettes, but instead of colours, it’s bottles of chemicals,” Venter said over the phone. “It’s packaging complex biology that each of our tiny cells do remarkably well at a much, much smaller scale.”
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.