I think we're in a fascinating time, watching technological advancements in forensic sciences. We're close to the day when your tiny biological dropping at the scene of your crime will go into a machine, the button pressed, and a full-color, 3D image of your entire person right from your molecules to your moles.
Until now, known viruses have contained so little genetic information that people have questioned whether they can even be thought of as living. But giant viruses like this one contain as much information as many bacteria, which are certainly alive, and are so big they can be seen with an ordinary microscope.
Animal lovers will enjoy this week's Day1 radio program--the 6th in our "Faith & Science in the 21st Century" series. The Rev. Dr. Nancy J. Duff addresses the topic of genetics through a biblical understanding of our relationships with animals, and reveals some serious issues we all must wrestle with.
We are sequencing the world -- from ourselves to all of the organisms upon which we depend as a living planet. In the future, our planetary genome might include new life forms built in the lab; there is even talk of the possibility of a resurrected Neanderthal, carried by a surrogate human mother. Science fiction? Not anymore.
No one is prepared for an era when editing DNA is as easy as editing a Microsoft Word document. The government does not have any regulations on editing human DNA. The ethical concerns have not been fleshed out. There is no centralized risk-management inventory, listing which labs are doing what with CRISPR. It's all rather terrifying.