“Mirror-Image Cells Could Transform Science — or Kill Us All”

mirror image cells-like that sugar molecule that has a left hand bent instead of a right hand bent turns into a sugar substitute like say Sweat and Low-but metabolises into formaldahyde in the bloodstrem

So if you took something as complicated as say a human and put a “wrong spin” on the DNA what sort of modification would this result in?

Synthetic Biology would be one of the issues the Bioethics Commission would be addressing.

“Translation: Go to the synthetic biologists Jack Szostak and George Church. Ask them to create a life-form that runs on an operating system different from our own, based on mirror-image versions of earthly proteins and DNA. Let these alien cells grow and mutate, and see how they survive. If it worked, those new cells—Church called them “mirror life”—could answer one of the deepest questions about the origin of life, not just here on Earth but everywhere in the universe. They might also open up new avenues of discovery in materials science, fuel synthesis, and pharmaceutical research. On the down side, though, mirror life wouldn’t have any predators or diseases to limit its reproduction. They would have to keep an eye on that.”

“heoretically, a cell could be based on “wrong-handed” molecules. Its biochemistry would work just like ours—DNA to RNA to proteins—but it would be completely incompatible with earthly life, its chiral twin. And now, thanks to recent advances in genomics, cell membrane science, and synthetic biology, an ambitious researcher could go beyond theory and build it from the ground up. The tools are here (well, almost here) to make mirror life from scratch.”

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