FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

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Agnes Selby
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FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu May 20, 2010 3:18 pm


NancyElla
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by NancyElla » Thu May 20, 2010 4:17 pm

That's amazing. It will take awhile to come to grips with the potential (for good and/or ill) from this achievement.
"This is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great." --Willa Cather

Brendan

Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Brendan » Thu May 20, 2010 4:26 pm

Way-cool! Design some bacteria to eat carbon dioxide and excrete petroleum. Solves Global Warming Alarmism and the price of gas at the same time (and no, I am NOT joking! That's the way-cool part!).

John F
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by John F » Thu May 20, 2010 4:55 pm

Unless one believes that natural life could and can only be created supernaturally, this was bound to happen - and soon. The question is, where will it lead? I vote for Brendan's idea. :)
John Francis

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by jbuck919 » Thu May 20, 2010 5:26 pm

John F wrote:Unless one believes that natural life could and can only be created supernaturally, this was bound to happen.
We call it synthetic because the cell is totally derived from a synthetic chromosome, made with four bottles of chemicals on a chemical synthesizer, starting with information in a computer.
I don't believe that any life was created supernaturally, but we're still a long way from figuring out how to it happened from scratch "in the beginning." That's one scientific puzzle that seems within our grasp that I would like to see solved in my lifetime.

That's pretty exciting, Agnes; thanks for posting it.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Teresa B
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Thu May 20, 2010 5:55 pm

Well, this was worth coming back to post on! Great article, Agnes, thanks! These critters, if harnessed wisely, could be a boon to all sorts of issues.

John, I don't think any supernatural stuff happened to create the first self-replicating molecules either. And these new synthesized organisms, I would say, can rightfully claim "life"!

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

piston
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by piston » Thu May 20, 2010 6:06 pm

Alleluia, Teresa! You were missed. :)
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Thu May 20, 2010 6:13 pm

piston wrote:Alleluia, Teresa! You were missed. :)
Thank you, piston.
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

jack stowaway
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by jack stowaway » Thu May 20, 2010 6:33 pm

Glad to see you back, Teresa. We need your knowledge and input.

jack stowaway
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by jack stowaway » Thu May 20, 2010 6:36 pm

To which, let me add....

There were reports you had gone walkabout; I'm pleased that wasn't the case. And if it was, I'm glad you found your way back.

Teresa B
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Thu May 20, 2010 6:40 pm

:lol: Nope, no walkabouts! I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest. I have a lot to do lately, but I plan to post if it strikes the fancy.

Thanks,
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu May 20, 2010 7:12 pm

Dear Teresa,

...and please keep us posted about your Mozart concerto performance in June.

Love,
Agnes.

Werner
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Werner » Thu May 20, 2010 7:25 pm

Very interesting - glad you and WA are getting together again, Teresa! Do let us know!

Best,
Werner Isler

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Chalkperson » Thu May 20, 2010 11:17 pm

Great to see you back, Teresa, we missed you... :D :D :D
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by living_stradivarius » Thu May 20, 2010 11:32 pm

Let's see what religious fundamentalists pull out of their behinds to explain this one.
Teresa B wrote::lol: Nope, no walkabouts! I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
Yeah sorry about that :lol:
Glad to have you back :D
Image

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by living_stradivarius » Fri May 21, 2010 10:53 am

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100521/ap_ ... hetic_cell
Church warns cell scientists not to play God

Figures
Image

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Fri May 21, 2010 11:02 am

Brendan wrote:Way-cool! Design some bacteria to eat carbon dioxide and excrete petroleum. Solves Global Warming Alarmism and the price of gas at the same time (and no, I am NOT joking! That's the way-cool part!).
Well maybe.
But even that bears out what NancyElla said ("potential (for good and/or ill"), because, y'know, there are always "unintended consequences."

With stuff like pills, it's "side effects." With something like this, it's completely up for grabs.

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Fri May 21, 2010 11:05 am

Teresa B wrote:......I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest......
If that happens again, why not just tell them to go @#$%&%#@ themselves? :lol:

(feel free to copy/paste from here) :mrgreen:

BTW: Your reason for leaving is the reason that I almost entirely avoid the political threads.

Dennis Spath
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Dennis Spath » Fri May 21, 2010 11:29 am

Three cheers for Craig and the Venter Institute! Dr. Venter is one great guy, an altruist making good in the too often selfish field of bio-medical research. Thanks to him the Human Genome was not patented. If you haven't read his Bio there is a fair example available at Wikipedia. And three cheers to Teresa also....great to see you back!
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

JackC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by JackC » Fri May 21, 2010 1:01 pm

Teresa B wrote: I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
"Notorious" ?? :roll:

Not as graceful a re-entrance as one would have expected.
Last edited by JackC on Fri May 21, 2010 3:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

piston
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by piston » Fri May 21, 2010 1:07 pm

Spring water under the bridge and down the falls....
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Barry
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Barry » Fri May 21, 2010 1:11 pm

JackC wrote: [quote="Teresa B I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
JackC wrote:"Notorious" ?? :roll:

Not as graceful a re-entrance as would have expected.
I assume I'm one of them. While I'm glad to see Teresa back, I have no regrets over the stance I took on the single issue over which she and I had aggressive disagreements. In fact, I view my position on that issue as fair-minded and something to be proud of.

And that's all I'll say since I know nobody is looking for that to be re-hashed.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

JackC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by JackC » Fri May 21, 2010 1:19 pm

Barry wrote:
JackC wrote: [quote="Teresa B I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
JackC wrote:"Notorious" ?? :roll:

Not as graceful a re-entrance as would have expected.
I assume I'm one of them.

Nope, she said "one or two". I know for certain who one is, and I am 99% certain that I would have been given the other spot before you. :wink:

John F
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by John F » Fri May 21, 2010 1:27 pm

MarkC wrote:there are always "unintended consequences."
Many of them good.
John Francis

Barry
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Barry » Fri May 21, 2010 1:36 pm

JackC wrote:
Barry wrote:
JackC wrote: [quote="Teresa B I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
JackC wrote:"Notorious" ?? :roll:

Not as graceful a re-entrance as would have expected.
I assume I'm one of them.

Nope, she said "one or two". I know for certain who one is, and I am 99% certain that I would have been given the other spot before you. :wink:
She must have meant three, then :lol: .
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Fri May 21, 2010 1:50 pm

John F wrote:
MarkC wrote:there are always "unintended consequences."
Many of them good.
Are you missing the point on purpose? :)

If there are bad unintended consequences, they are of concern.

That's what I meant.

Do you disagree that bad unintended consequences are of concern?

Teresa B
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Fri May 21, 2010 5:37 pm

Barry wrote:
JackC wrote:
Barry wrote:
JackC wrote: [quote="Teresa B I just felt that a break from getting pounded by one or two notorious posters was in my best interest.
JackC wrote:"Notorious" ?? :roll:

Not as graceful a re-entrance as would have expected.
I assume I'm one of them.

Nope, she said "one or two". I know for certain who one is, and I am 99% certain that I would have been given the other spot before you. :wink:

She must have meant three, then :lol: .
Well, let's just keep everyone guessin' a la Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", shall we?
:lol:
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Barry
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Barry » Fri May 21, 2010 5:43 pm

Teresa B wrote: Well, let's just keep everyone guessin' a la Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", shall we?
:lol:
Teresa
I don't drink coffee. :wink:
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by david johnson » Sat May 22, 2010 4:12 am

Please note that the article reads 'synthetic life', but the post title here claims synthetic life (minus "quotes" as though it was really alive). Misleading inaccuracy in the extreme.

dj

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 11:40 am

david johnson wrote:Please note that the article reads 'synthetic life', but the post title here claims synthetic life (minus "quotes" as though it was really alive). Misleading inaccuracy in the extreme.
I sort of agree, although we've seen worse. :lol:
IMO this is mild among 'misleading inaccuracies.'

But anyway.......besides what you said, the phrase "synthetic life," with or without quotes, doesn't appear in the article at all. It's just in the headline.

We ought to point out: It's an ironic fact (and maybe little-known) that a headline, which is the main thing that gets noticed in articles and the main thing that might be remembered or sometimes immortalized, ISN'T PART OF AN ARTICLE, per se. It wasn't written by the writer (except maybe occasionally).

It's written by some editor at a desk, and often based more on catchiness and fitting into the space in a certain way, than on faithfully reflecting the article.

This article itself never indicates anything more than that this may be a step toward "synthetic life" -- and it does a pretty good job of covering the concerns.

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat May 22, 2010 3:35 pm

david johnson wrote:Please note that the article reads 'synthetic life', but the post title here claims synthetic life (minus "quotes" as though it was really alive). Misleading inaccuracy in the extreme.

dj
Self-replicating bacteria HAVE LIFE. It is called synthetic because the cell
is derived from synthetic chromosome.

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by jbuck919 » Sat May 22, 2010 4:14 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:
david johnson wrote:Please note that the article reads 'synthetic life', but the post title here claims synthetic life (minus "quotes" as though it was really alive). Misleading inaccuracy in the extreme.

dj
Self-replicating bacteria HAVE LIFE. It is called synthetic because the cell
is derived from synthetic chromosome.
I had my doubts to, but the article seems to be saying that the chromosome was literally put together in a laboratory, and not from parts of other chromosomes. That's a pretty big deal.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 5:12 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:Self-replicating bacteria HAVE LIFE. It is called synthetic because the cell is derived from synthetic chromosome.
All we're saying is that the wording doesn't appear in the article.

Surely one can argue what you're saying, but that's a different debate.....

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat May 22, 2010 5:53 pm

MarkC wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:Self-replicating bacteria HAVE LIFE. It is called synthetic because the cell is derived from synthetic chromosome.
All we're saying is that the wording doesn't appear in the article.

Surely one can argue what you're saying, but that's a different debate.....
I am sorry Mark. I can only go by the article. In any case, I believe
it is a very important discovery. Perhaps, in years to come, the
"synthetic bacteria" could be useful in diminishing the destruction caused
by another oil spill.

However, I would be interested in your argument in a "different debate".
As a scientist, your opinion is valuable.

Agnes.

Teresa B
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Sat May 22, 2010 9:14 pm

It seems a bit silly to be worrying about whether the words appeared in the article, or whether quotes were in there or not. There is, though, an interesting point of debate as to what constitutes "life" exactly.

These cells were apparently made using manufactured chromosomes which were placed in already existing cells whose DNA had been extracted. So I would submit they are definitely alive. Now, whether the scientists involved can say they "created life in vitro" or whatever, is a moot point. They did not create an entire cell with all its mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi bodies, structural tubules, etc, from scratch--and the DNA, although it obviously is now specifying proteins and self-replicating, was only the so-called "blueprint". We're still a long way from conjuring up formed homunculi, but there could be some amazing medical breakthroughs, and all sorts of other applications--cells that can produce or metabolize certain chemicals--could be a great boon to pharmaceuticals and other industries.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat May 22, 2010 9:26 pm

Thank you, Teresa. As it took millions of years for LIFE to emerge,
lets give this amazing new discovery a "little" bit of time.

Love,
Agnes.

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 9:45 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:.....However, I would be interested in your argument in a "different debate".
As a scientist, your opinion is valuable.
Speaking as a 'scientist,' to the extent that I am (thank you!!!), I think it's a slight stretch to call it "synthetic LIFE."

And in any event I think that's more of a semantic question than a scientific one. Although I guess you have to be a scientist to know that. :)

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Teresa B wrote:It seems a bit silly to be worrying about whether the words appeared in the article.....
Really?
It's the difference between citing what the writer wrote, and giving our own take.

And the "quotes" thing is very interesting, although it reflects on the headline writer, not Agnes.

WHAT EXACTLY did the headline writer mean by putting it in quotes? (not to mention using the phrase at all)
It's not a quote from the article, so it ain't that.
Was it supposed to indicate "sort of," as quotes sometimes do?
We don't know.

It was a bad job by the headline writer, and (IMO) maybe a slight mistake by Agnes -- but we can't blame her, because after all, the headline does say it ('sort of'), and I don't think it's common knowledge that the writer doesn't write the headline.

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat May 22, 2010 11:02 pm

MarkC wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:.....However, I would be interested in your argument in a "different debate".
As a scientist, your opinion is valuable.
Speaking as a 'scientist,' to the extent that I am (thank you!!!), I think it's a slight stretch to call it "synthetic LIFE."

And in any event I think that's more of a semantic question than a scientific one. Although I guess you have to be a scientist to know that. :)
True! I am not a scientist. But you being a Doctor of Medine surely you must
see the potential in this research. This observation is coming to you
from a humble retired journalist.

...and by the way I fully agree with your opinion on stem cell research.
We do not have any problems with it in Australia.

Agnes.

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sat May 22, 2010 11:51 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:.....surely you must
see the potential in this research.
Absolutely! That was never at issue.
.....This observation is coming to you
from a humble retired journalist.
Huh..........I didn't know!!!
Then I guess you know very well (and maybe sometimes rued the fact) that the writer doesn't write the title or the headline!
...and by the way I fully agree with your opinion on stem cell research.
We do not have any problems with it in Australia.
.....and by coincidence, I just got off the phone with Australia. :)
My niece lives there -- recently moved from Florida. And I really do not understand how it is that I'm able to get her by calling her old Florida phone number.
Progress is cool. :)

And that goes for stem cell research too.

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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Teresa B » Sun May 23, 2010 11:21 am

MarkC wrote:
Teresa B wrote:It seems a bit silly to be worrying about whether the words appeared in the article.....
Really?
Yes. It's clear Agnes did not "unquote" the title words in an attempt to change the meaning, and the headline writer obviously included them to indicate it wasn't necessarily "synthetic life" at this point as we imagine it. To quibble about the title of the thread seems counterproductive to the discussion, since we all understand the intent of it. I do still think the "life" vs "nonlife" issue itself is good fodder for discussion.
And the "quotes" thing is very interesting, although it reflects on the headline writer, not Agnes.

It was a bad job by the headline writer, and (IMO) maybe a slight mistake by Agnes -- but we can't blame her, because after all, the headline does say it ('sort of'), and I don't think it's common knowledge that the writer doesn't write the headline.
I think Agnes's thread title was very likely unmeditated! And it may not be common knowledge about headlines, although if you get two newspapers, you can surely glean that by reading the same column on two different op-ed pages.

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Agnes Selby
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun May 23, 2010 2:38 pm

The truth is, I did not pay much attention to "quotes".
I was simply fascinated by the article.

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sun May 23, 2010 8:39 pm

Teresa B wrote:Yes. It's clear Agnes did not "unquote" the title words in an attempt to change the meaning, and the headline writer obviously included them to indicate it wasn't necessarily "synthetic life" at this point as we imagine it.....
I think you're missing it -- and you probably think I am :) -- so probably we should cap it right here.......

MarkC
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Re: FIRST SYNTHETIC LIFE!!!

Post by MarkC » Sun May 23, 2010 8:43 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:The truth is, I did not pay much attention to "quotes"......
The "quotes" thing was the lesser of it.
The main thing was using the phrase at all -- since it doesn't appear in the article, nor does anything like it. It's not part of the story; it's either a misreading or an editorialization.

As I said, I don't really blame you -- I blame the headline writer.
I was simply fascinated by the article.
Me too.

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