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Solve for X: Omri Amirav-Drory on synthetic life toolkits

Solve for X is a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork. www.wesolveforx.com G+ goo.gl Life may be the software that makes its own hardware, but where is the compiler? If we plan to start programming life itself, we are going to need a radically different and better tool kit than the one available to geneticists today. Omri lays out a concrete vision for how such a tool would work and for how it would be used to create the bio-products our future needs so badly. Omri is the founder & CEO of Genome Compiler Corp, a Synthetic Biology venture. His background is in biochemical and structural studies of membrane protein complexes involved in bio-energetics.
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18 Comments  comments 

18 Responses

  1. IdeaBoxful

    You are defining computers at a narrow interpretation of the computers we use. But on a grander scale nature itself a grand computer for that matter carbon is the building? block of computation. Please refer Singularity from Ray Kurzweil to elaborate on this idea

  2. IdeaBoxful

    @erubin I would like to point out that living things are continuously modifying themselves to environmental stimuli. And those inputs are biochemical or biomechanical in nature. And that too is programming… and it can be nasty too. You catch a disease in this case. At the DNA level it can lead to the process of eevolutionary mutation. It is programming too. It is just that we are intervening at that scale using DNA which is the code? of life rather than using less accurate chemical inputs

  3. erubin1967

    I don’t understand your answer. Why do I need a supreme being to tell me life, unlike computers, was not designed to be programmable? Every time we look at the design principles of living things, they were designed to thrive.? To grow, to multiply, to spread. Not to be modified by others.
    Now, regarding the programmers who don’t know how a computer works: read my comment again. I said you need to understand how a computer works to write a compiler, not to program it.
    Why are you so aggressive?

  4. lexvalesa

    Life is not like this ? Was not designed to be predictable and programmable ? Which superior being communicated you these divine truths ??? On the other side, we take the compiler from the nature. We dont know how it works, we only know that it transforms the DNA provided by us, into something “executable” (organs composed of proteins). I can assure you that there are? millions of programmers which have no complete understanding about how the computer works, but they succesfully program it.

  5. TheSelfGoverned

    With great power comes great responsibility.

    (Cheesy, but relevant)?

  6. Shlockey

    The Cylons are coming…?

  7. ramalama246

    This stuff needs more views. Very informative. Just another technology? that gives me hope for the future.

  8. Yiqing Liang

    Do we have full knowledge of the? function of the synthetic life? Or at least can predict the function?

  9. GMTaelin

    if we ever get to this point I’m sure? we’ll not be worrying with ebola.

  10. iceplayer112

    i feel like every word he’s saying, I’m responding? with “Woo!!! So cool!” =D

  11. erubin1967

    If you take Omri’s analogy forward, every species has it’s own “flavor” of operating system. But the worst part is that computers have been engineered by people, so we know exactly how they work. When you build a compiler for a? programming language, it is based on a complete understanding of the computer on which it will run. In fact, computers are built to be simple to program and predicatble.
    Life is NOT like this. It’s operating system WAS NOT desinged to be predictable and programmable.

  12. ZeroRyoko

    What shal i do today, hmm, ‘loads up Ebola’ ill change its incubation period from two days to two months, three clicks later job done, have fun bleading out of your… is anyone else as woriied as i am here? this is awsome tech with the posibility? of masive benefits, but how do you controll somthing like this? how do you know that whats safe ijn the lab is safe in the wild? do these scientists realise what goes on in the real world. Establish how you safeguard this tech first to prevent missuse!

  13. Arets Paeglis

    This isn’t playing. ;)?

  14. pietervanboheemen

    Looks like a great piece of software. The whole entourage about saving the planet makes it look a bit silly though. You don’t? just add a few missing steps in a metabolic pathway without decent flux analysis and a lot of optimization in the lab. Hopefully a piece software like this can support those efforts.

  15. download333

    Really cool idea, but I don’t think it’ll be quite as easy as he makes it out to be. You don’t just insert firefly genes into an oak tree. You have to find exactly what genes are responsible for producing the right combination light-emitting chemicals and then figure out how to? integrate them into an oak tree’s genome. It would probably take some experimentation, and at $1,000 per test, not a lot of people will want to do that.
    You need to be able to order known-functioning organisms.

  16. tblobaum

    playing God isnt cool. lets just build some windmills? first, eh

  17. Dicertification

    Resident Evil comes to mind.

    But this is incredible stuff.?

  18. trevorrotzien

    Vast potential for benefit and catastrophe. It will take deep thinking to design and implement? safeguards. Unlike software hacking, even software with large safety implications, malicious hacking of genomes could decimate species, even entire ecologies.