FIRST AIRED: April 6, 2017

Nice work! Enjoy the show!

×

You’re busy. We get it.

Stay on top of the news with our Editor’s Picks newsletter.

US Edition
Intl. Edition
Unsubscribe at any time. One click, it’s gone.

Thanks for signing up!

×

Transcript

00:00:00
>> Growing designer babies and bringing back the woolly mammoth. Once fiction but now a looming reality for scientist who are steps away from building artificial life. Reuters Pharmaceuticals Correspondent Ben Herschler says it's spawning a billion dollar industry.>> The industry is attracting investors because costs are really plummeting.
00:00:22
The price of synthesizing DNA has fallen about 100-fold in the last dozen years. And we're starting to see some really interesting repeatable
INAUDIBL
] like yeast. You can maybe make many different kinds of drugs and vaccines that we haven't thought about before. You can also produce chemicals and even new kinds of perfumes that we haven't had in the natural world, and that's exciting.
00:00:43
A lot of interest.>> Last month saw a breakthrough when scientists announced that they've root in almost the entire genome of baker's yeast. A big step because of the similarities between yeast and human cells. Scientist aiming to synthesize a human genome in the next ten years. The word to look out for, synbio.
00:01:03
It stands for synthetic biology. Companies to take note of, US-based Ginkgo Bioworks, Swiss-based Evolva, and Britain's Synthace.>> So it's interesting that we're seeing investment coming into the synthetic biology space from some of the big tech investors who've been behind companies like Facebook and Uber and Google. And they've got money to spare and not even the billionaires.
00:01:27
And now they're looking for the next big thing and a few million were going to work in some of these new companies, seems like a smart bet on their part.>> But synbio raises all sort of ethical questions. And right now there's no proper structure to deal with that problem.
00:01:44
The next part may come down to the public's appetite for tinkering with life.