Back in the early decades of the 20th century, Rudolf Steiner talked about the “Life Ether” and how in the future there would be technologies based on harnessing it. Could this be the start of it?
“This exciting field is evolving so rapidly that no widely accepted definitions exist. Common to many explanations is the idea of synthetic biology as the application of engineering principles to the fundamental components of biology.
All living organisms contain an instruction set that determines what they look like and what they do. These instructions are encoded in the organisms’s DNA — long and complex strings of molecules embedded in every living cell. This is an organism’s genetic code (or “genome”).
Humans have been altering the genetic code of plants and animals for millennia, by selectively breeding individuals with desirable features. As biotechnologists have learned more about how to read and manipulate this code, they have begun to take genetic information associated with useful features from one organism, and add it into another one. This is the basis of genetic engineering, and has allowed researchers to speed up the process of developing new breeds of plants and animals.
More recent advances however, have enabled scientists to make new sequences of DNA from scratch. By combining these advances with the principles of modern engineering, scientists can now use computers and laboratory chemicals to design organisms that do new things—like produce biofuels or excrete the precursors of medical drugs. To many people, this is the essence of synthetic biology…”