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Artificial life - or not?

In May, the media had one of their regular hypes and used huge fonts to announce that a scientist had created artificial life.


Of course, often the subsequent article gives away the truth of the situation, but the uninformed public has gone away with the false headline. The Times scientific editor began his article by declaring: ‘Synthetic life has been created in the laboratory in a feat of ingenuity…’ He pointed out that this ‘could yield microbes that make vaccines and algae that turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon biofuels’.