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Artificial Life – What does the Future Hold?

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 7/29/2008

Although there have been numerous breakthroughs in the world for creating artificial life, most scientists think that the ten year prediction is a little too soon. According to some scientific sources, there are claims that scientists could be within ten years of actually creating artificial life.

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    According to some scientific sources, there are claims that scientists could be within ten years of actually creating artificial life, and that it could be created in as little as three years from now. Is this a realistic possibility or something movies are made of? It is true that scientists have been making giant leaps in the being able to decode and understand genetic information in both animals and humans.

    Although there have been numerous breakthroughs in the world for creating artificial life, most scientists think that the ten year prediction is a little too soon. Cloning and replication of DNA have come a long way, but there are still a lot of advancements that need to be made in order for artificial life to exist. What is it going to take for artificial life to exist?

    Artificial life needs to be able to contain genetic code or DNA. It has to have the ability to pass on its own genetic code and to be able to reproduce itself. There needs to be some kind of membrane, similar to that of a cell wall, that can kept the DNA and other materials all together and allow for the passing of genetic code to exist. This membrane also needs to create an environment for other biological processes to exist. It has to remain permeable to allow nutrients in and keep pathogens and germs out. It also has to be able to sustain itself by being able to eat and process food and water.

    Perhaps the biggest feat of all with artificial life is that it needs to be able to fully repair itself, and learn to evolve and adapt to the environment and its surroundings. It is trying to solve the puzzles of how all of these functions will be possible that is continuing to test the ability of scientists all over the world. There are groups of scientists that remain hopeful and optimistic that the full creation of artificial life can occur in the next decade. They believe that the work that has already been done and continues to be done with the creation of membranes and DNA replication can allow for realistic gains to come in the next few years.

    Whatever the outlook is that scientists hold, there are still a lot of hurdles and obstacles that need to be remedied before artificial life will be a part of our everyday lives. Not only are there challenges with the creation of artificial life, but also the ethical issues of what we can do with it once it is created, and how we can keep it from getting out of control. Scientists are plagued with questions and controversies surrounding those questions and have yet to fully envelop a way to answer them.

    The thought of artificial life among us can be a bit frightening to some, and until it is fully understood and explained, it is still a bit of a mystery to most of us.