Synthetic biology

I wonder if cheetahs are obsessed with their hunting methods or how fast can they go. Do they keep track of their performances as runners? Do they live in a constant state of achieving perfection in their life? Maybe, the Dung beetles (makes enormous balls out of animals droppings) live with anxiety or seeks the perfect, round ball of dung… Or maybe the spiders in general are the perfectionist ones.

I think humans are obsessed with their method, hunted by the need of fulfilling a purpose and transcendence. Humans need to conquer all in their world, what surrounds them and beyond, to play with the impossible. The bigger the mountain the better, and in this same line of thought a piece from the New Yorkers article resonated with me. It mentioned Hermann J. Muller (Nobel Prize-winning geneticist), who said that “Man is a megalomaniac among animals—if he sees mountains he will try to imitate them by pyramids, and if he sees some grand process like evolution, and thinks it would be at all possible for him to be in on that game, he would irreverently have to have his whack at that too.”. No animal has manipulated their surroundings, modified/breed their food as humans had. It’s impressive this need of control/understanding that functions as a leitmotif throughout all our history.

The idea of humankind creating, subtracting, manipulating life through synthetic biology is overwhelming, marvellous and scary to me. In Proust was a neurologist the author says “By the middle of the nine- teenth century, as technology usurped romanticism… the immortal soul was dead. Man was a monkey, not a fallen angel”. Maybe, biotechnology is creating a new creature, its expanding possibilities but at the same time generating new moral and social uncertainty.

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