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Aris Patrinos: The Greek Scientist behind the Creation of Artificial Life

It took years of research and millions of dollars for the scientists at Craig Venter Institute in Maryland to create life by activating a cell with a lab made chromosome. The Greek scientist behind this great scientific achievement is Mr. Aris Patrinos (photo).

A few years ago, Mr. Aris Patrinos left his position as director of the US Department of Energy’s Human Genome Program to become president of Synthetic Genomics (a company founded by Craig Venter, a major participant in the US Human Genome Project) and decided to become active in Greece as well.

Mr. Patrinos, explained that with this new process, scientists have managed to chemically create a synthetic chromosome, which in turn activates a cell. They had managed to create the chromosome earlier, but were not able, until very recently, to use it to activate a cell, in other words, breathe life into a cell. This new technology uses the DNA of plants and bacteria to produce cheap, environmentally friendly energy. The applications of this discovery are endless, as Mr. Patrinos explains. It can be used in the production of biofuels, new “living” vaccines, food and clean water. It is a technology expected to bring about an energy revolution in the next few years. On the other hand, its potential misuse could be very dangerous and poses ethical and moral questions. According to Mr. Patrinos, however, creating a synthetic human DNA is not the intention of the scientific team at Craig Venter Institute.

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