MindBullets 20 Years


First fully-synthetic human genome completed

It’s taken a decade since the idea was first conceived, but a fully-specced, digitally defined genome of a human being without parents has been created.

Not surprisingly, this human DNA blueprint has been christened John Doe 1.0 and lives in a supercomputer. It may be some time yet, before the genome is inserted into a cell and brought to life.

You can however, see what John will look like, at various ages. The artificially intelligent system can render a perfectly clear 3D image of John, based on his genetic codes. As far back as 2016, Craig Venter had developed a system for accurately drawing faces, by reading a genomic sequence.

Parents of newborn babies could sequence their child’s DNA, and see what they would look like as a teenager or an adult. That’s kind of a spoiler alert for future dating, but became amazingly popular nonetheless.

Now we can see John Doe 1.0 in all his adult glory, and even print out 3D models in various materials. But that’s a far cry from letting him be born in a test tube. It’s like software that’s been developed, but not yet installed.

The problem doesn’t lie in the technology. DNA synthesizers have advanced exponentially, and routinely ‘create’ genetic material from scratch. Rather it’s a question of ethics. How do you explain to John, when he grows up, that he’s an orphan, created by mad scientists?

“Besides,” says the chief bio-synthesizer, “we’re waiting for Version 2.0 before we begin beta testing. In vitro.”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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