理解科学怪人的传统

发自帕洛阿尔托——“活了,它在动,活了......它真的活过来了!”,在“大作”完成之际,维克托·弗兰肯斯坦医生兴奋地高叫着。正如电影《科学怪人》(Frankenstein)的情节那样,医学研究者都渴望去创造生命,但在大多数情况下,他们所能做的只不过是用突变或其他基因工程手段来将各种活体组织拼凑起来罢了。

今年5月,在J·克雷格·文特尔研究所,由创办人文特尔亲自率领的研究团队利用化学模块合成了一种全新的细菌基因,并将其植入了另一种细菌的细胞内。新植入的遗传信息“重新激活”了受体细胞,新细胞生理机能如常,可以自我复制,并呈现出“供体”的相关特征。换句话说,一种新的人工合成生命正式诞生了。

科学界对此可谓众说纷纭,有人觉得“有点新奇”,有人惊呼“末日先兆”。或许前者更为明智:文特尔的成果只不过将目前的技术有所推进,还算不上是革命性的。

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/yl6Q0PF/zh;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.