By Damien Marsic

‘A very long time ago on our distant planet, we had reached a level of technical and scientific knowledge, comparable to that which you will soon reach. Our scientists had started to create primitive, embryonic forms of life, namely living cells in test tubes. Everyone was thrilled by this.’
(The Book Which Tells The Truth, Chapter 2, Genesis)

First Synthetic Bacterium It is a very exciting time to be a Raelian on planet Earth! We have the extraordinary privilege to witness our humanity follow the steps of our creators, as more and more scientific achievements confirm the Message of the Elohim and suggest that we are on our way to one day become Elohim ourselves. One of the most important of such scientific breakthroughs in the last 40 years was the first creation of synthetic life by Craig Venter's team in 2010.

Craig VenterThe culmination of 15 years of pioneering research and a remarkable technical accomplishment, it's above all a major milestone in the history of mankind, with far reaching social and philosophical implications. For the first time, it was demonstrated that there is nothing supernatural about life, that a living cell could be created using synthetic DNA. Humans have become gods, capable of creating and manipulating life.

This work was made possible thanks to the plummeting costs of both DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis (the reading and writing of DNA), as well as technological advances allowing the synthesis and assembly of increasingly longer DNA fragments.

Cost DNA Sequencing Synthesis Longest SDNA
Craig Venter has long been involved in DNA sequencing, being one of the first to sequence the human genome in 2000. He also pioneered synthetic DNA assembly, creating the first synthetic virus in 2003. In 2007, he performed the first genome transplantation, demonstrating that a bacterial species could be changed to another one by replacing its genome. In 2008, Craig Venter's team synthesized a whole bacterial genome, and two years later succeeded in combining genome transplantation and genome synthesis, resulting in the first synthetic living cell. Craig Venter heads both the J. Craig Venter Institute and the company Synthetic Genomics, and works toward creating synthetic microorganisms for the production of biofuels, vaccines or food products.

Obviously, the first synthetic bacterium was just a first step in creating new life forms. In the long term, this new technology has the potential to lead to an explosion of exciting new achievements at the service of humanity, such as the creation of new forms of animal pets and even biological robots.

Suggested videos:

TED - Craig Venter unveils "synthetic life"

CBS - J. Craig Venter: Designing Life

Scientific references:

Gibson, D. G., Glass, J. I., et al.
Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome
Science. 2010 Jul 02; 329(5987): 52-6.

Gibson, D. G., Benders, G. A., et al.
Complete Chemical Synthesis, Assembly, and Cloning of a Mycoplasma genitalium Genome
Science. 2008 Jan 24; 319(5867): 1215-20.

Lartigue, C., Glass, J. I., et al.
Genome Transplantation In Bacteria: Changing One Species to Another
Science. 2007 Aug 03; 317(5838): 632-8.

Smith, H. O., Hutchison, C. A., 3rd, et al.
Generating a Synthetic Genome by Whole Genome Assembly: PhiX174 Bacteriophage from Synthetic Oligonucleotides
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Dec 23; 100(26): 15440-5.