Das Verständnis der Frankensteinschen Tradition

PALO ALTO – „Es lebt, es bewegt sich, es lebt…ES LEBT!“ So lauteten die Worte Dr. Victor Frankensteins als seine „Schöpfung“ vollendet war. Forscher sind schon seit langem von dem Versuch fasziniert Leben zu schaffen, mussten sich aber im Wesentlichen damit begnügen durch Mutation oder andere gentechnische Methoden Variationen von Lebewesen zu entwickeln.

Im Mai haben Forscher am J. Craig Venter Institut, unter Leitung von Venter persönlich, mithilfe von chemischen Bausteinen ein von Grund auf neues Genom eines Bakteriums künstlich hergestellt und es in die Zelle einer anderen Bakterienart eingeschleust. Die neue genetische Information hat ihre Wirtszelle zu einem „Neustart“ veranlasst: Sie begann zu funktionieren, teilte sich und nahm die Eigenschaften des „Gebers“ an. Mit anderen Worten ist eine Art künstliches Lebewesen geschaffen worden.

Die Reaktionen in der Wissenschaftsgemeinde reichten von „unbedeutende Neuigkeit“ bis „drohende Apokalypse“. Erstere ist angemessener: Venters Schöpfung ist evolutionär, nicht revolutionär.

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