I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Mitchell speak last week and I left feeling fixated on the idea of this entirely synthetically created organism. Close up, I understand how it works and the interest in pursuing such an endeavor, but from afar, it’s crazy! A la the Center for Genomic Gastronomy, I would love to get my hands on some of those early synthetic strains to brew some man-made beer. Even though Dr. Mitchell attests it would taste horrible, I think it’s interesting for 2 reasons: A. Being able to taste the difference between nature and man-made constructions and B. Beer is one of the oldest drinks on the planet and one of our first “domesticated” organisms, so it’s would be fascinating to get to a point where we have elimated the need for the naturally occuring species that we’ve relied on for so many years….even if that need was just to get drunk. It speculates on what the future of our relationship to the natural world is in an era of synthetically created organisms.
Re the Biodesign challenge, if this idea doesn’t qualify, I would love to talk to other people in the class to bounce ideas around and see if I could be part of a team!