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PALO ALTO – “Está vivo, se está moviendo, está vivo... ¡ESTÁ VIVO!” Fue lo que dijo el Doctor Victor Frankenstein cuando completó su "creación". Por largo tiempo los científicos han sentido la fascinación de intentar crear vida, pero han tenido que conformarse con diseñar variaciones de organismos vivos mediante la mutación u otras técnicas de ingeniería genética.

En mayo, los investigadores del J. Craig Venter Institute, encabezados por Venter mismo, sintetizaron el genoma de una bacteria desde cero utilizando componentes químicos y lo insertaron en la célula de una variedad de bacteria diferente. La nueva información genética "reinicializó" su célula huésped y la hizo funcionar, replicarse y adoptar las características del "donante". En otras palabras, se había creado una especie de organismo sintético.

Las reacciones en la comunidad científica han variado desde "pequeña novedad" hasta "apocalipsis en ciernes". La primera es más apta: la creación de Venter es evolucionaria, no revolucionaria.

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