George Church’s Evolution Machine

George Church wants to automate evolution, in the same way that we’ve now automated genome sequencing.  Any trait that can be easily and automatically screened for should be susceptible to the technique.  You give the machine a rough draft, and let it mutate the genome in fast forward, and iterate with screening/selection.  They’ve already used the technique to engineer a couple of pigments (indigo and lycopene) much more effectively than straightforward genetic designers.  Mmm.  Custom evolved babies.  And virus-proof replacement livers.  Sweet, in a creepy kind of way.

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