Monday, February 25, 2008

Discussion on a gene-centric view of life

The provides an opportunity to hear a discussion between Craig Venter and Richard Dawkins, which took place at the Digital, Life, Design conference January in Munich.

Richard Dawkins published the groundbreaking work The Selfish Gene, which is available from our library, call number QH 437 .D38 1989.

Craig Venter was head of the team that decoded the human genome. One of his many projects today is collection and cataloging of genes from the ocean.

Some of the topics broached included the concept of the gene as information that can be stored digitally and rebuilt in laboratories. Possible applications discussed were the development of new energy sources that could help what some scientists deem an upcoming energy crisis. Another topic was the transfer of genes, not just between same species, but between other species, and possibly with extraterrestrial organisms. Audience members were also encouraged the question Venter and Dawkins. At the, people interested in this revolutionary discussion can watch it, or they can read the entire transcript.

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