Will synthetic life do more harm than good?
Scientists have developed the first synthetic living bacteria. What is your reaction?
The new microbe, dubbed "Synthia" by opponents, contains a DNA sequence designed and built by scientists. Its creator Dr Craig Venter hopes eventually to design and build new bacteria that can perform useful functions - such as producing medicines and fuels or even absorbing greenhouse gases.
But critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms. Dr Helen Wallace from Genewatch UK, an organisation that monitors developments in genetic technologies, said: "If you release new organisms into the environment, you can do more harm than good. We don't know how these organisms will behave in the environment."
What is your reaction to this new microbe? Are you excited, or concerned, by the potential of synthetic biology? What limits, if any, should we place on research into synthetic living organisms?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.