Engineering ET: The Path to Alternate Life Forms

Cloning, move over. The powerful and potentially dark force that would give you a “mini-me” may soon be knocked off genetic engineering’s center stage by an emerging laboratory effort to create life that is decidedly not as we know it. In two separate research efforts, scientists have altered the very nature of nature by creating cells that break a cardinal rule of biology, incorporating an entirely new basic building block into their cellular structures. It is a first step on a path of neogenesis — the creation of alternate life forms.