The minimal organism essay

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The minimal organism essay

Abstract The difference between a non-living machine such as a vacuum cleaner and a living organism as a lion seems to be obvious.

The two types of entities differ in their material consistence, their origin, their development and their purpose. The emergence of novel technologies such as artificial life, nanobiotechnology and synthetic biology are definitely blurring the boundary between our understanding of living and non-living matter.

For this purpose we focus on the description of three different types of synthetic biology products and the aims assigned to their realization: We The minimal organism essay that in the case of synthetic biology the purpose is more decisive for the categorization of a product as an organism or a machine than its origin and development.

This has certain ethical implications because the definition of an entity as machine seems to allow bypassing the discussion about the assignment and evaluation of instrumental and intrinsic values, which can be raised in the case of organisms.

Ethics, Life, Machines, Organisms, Philosophy, Synthetic biology, Synthetic life Introduction The difference between living and non-living matter is not only of great interest and challenge for science but also has philosophical and cultural impact.

The question whether the living world is fundamentally different from the non-living world has been widely discussed in natural philosophy. Today the philosophical idea of vitalism, which says that the organic world is governed by different principles than non-living entities, is largely outdated.

Nevertheless, even with the knowledge that living organisms follow the same chemical and physical laws as non-living matter but can develop novel properties by emergence LuisiChap.

The minimal organism essay

Living organisms traditionally exist, reproduce and change following natural rules, independently of the will of human beings. In contrast, in the artificial world human beings decide what exists, in what amount and in which form.

A strict separation between the natural and the human-determined world has never existed, domesticated animals being natural and dependent on humans at the same time. However, living organisms designed, produced and fully controlled by human beings have been difficult to imagine until recently.

Attempts to imitate or even create living organisms have been made since ancient times Riskinbut never led to something that would seriously be considered alive and yet not a member of the natural 1 world.

The rise of digital and biological technologies in the second half of the twentieth century has allowed for novel approaches to artificial forms of life.

In vitro fertilization IVF allowed the fertilization of a human egg and thereby the production of a human embryo in the lab.

Synthetic organisms and living machines

Yet, the product of this procedure is still controlled by a natural design and is in that respect not more artificial than a naturally conceived human being.

The progress in computer technology has lead to the development of disciplines called artificial life AL and artificial intelligence AI. Synthetic biology adds a new chapter to the story of human-made life. Synthetic biology is an emerging technology at the interface between biotechnology, chemistry, engineering and computer science.

Very different types of outputs, from genetically engineered bacteria to chemically synthesized genomes, to chemically assembled cells or even computer models of an artificial metabolism can all be considered intermediate- or end-products of synthetic biology. This multidisciplinary and multi-approach field has the unifying goal of producing and designing new forms of life Deplazes On the one hand, synthetic biologists use the basic natural mechanisms for their products, which means that they are trying to produce organic cellular structures controlled by a genome.

On the other hand, their products should be regulated and controlled by a human design, similarly to computers. Depending on the approach, one or the other aspect the usage of basic natural mechanisms as in IVF or the control by a human design as in AL is more prominent.

Interestingly, the aim of producing novel types of living organisms in synthetic biology not only implies the production of living from non-living matter, but also the idea of using living matter and turning it into machines, which are traditionally considered non-living.

It can be said that synthetic biology as a whole approaches the borderline between living and non-living matter from both sides, the living and the inanimate. In the following, this borderline will be examined and the position of different synthetic biology products in relation to this border will be discussed.

Organisms and machines In order to investigate the borderline between the living and the non-living world in relation to the natural and artificial world we will in the following introduce and compare organisms and machines as representatives of natural and artificial entities.Biodiversity, a contraction from biological diversity is a reference to the varied life forms on earth, plants, animals and micro-organisms, their varied genes pools and habitats in the desert, oceans, coral reefs, forests and elsewhere.

A minimal genome pertains to the nominal collection of genes that permit an organism to undergo replication in a defined environment.

The capability to generate a new organism that survives from a smallest collection of genes still requires massive research. The Minimal Organism Essay Sample. A minimal genome pertains to the nominal collection of genes that permit an organism to undergo .

The Minimal Organism | Essay Example

Oct 10,  · As mentioned above we are interpreting “organism” in this essay in its first meaning as a living entity. The chassis-function of such a minimal organism implies that the minimal genome should be expanded by genes required to fulfill certain functions.

As mentioned in the beginning there are certain ideas and imaginations. Oct 10,  · This essay discusses where, at the borderline between living and non-living matter, we can position the future products of synthetic biology that belong to the two hybrid entities “synthetic organisms” and “living machines” and how the approaching realization of such hybrid entities affects our understanding of organisms and machines.

Meteorology Case Essay Sample. 1. Describe how the use of a tall smoke stack might improve air quality near a large industrial facility. 2. How can topography contribute to pollution in a city or region?

The Minimal Organism. A minimal genome pertains to the nominal collection of genes that permit an organism to undergo replication in a.

The Minimal Organism | Essay Example