We interrupt this programming to inform you that a living, self-replicating bacterial cell has been made synthetically. The idea of life as chemistry has just scored some serious cred.
If Stanley Miller and Harold Urey had lived to see today, they'd probably be pretty excited. Back in 1952, the two scientists took a stab at recreating Earth's early atmosphere in a beaker, by adding water, hydrogen, ammonia and methane and then zapping it with an electrical charge. Boom! Amino acids, some of the building blocks of life and protein precursors, soon appeared.
Within the booming field of synthetic biology, the folks at the J. Craig Venter Institute took a slightly different approach. Keep reading to learn what it was.