Tuesday, June 01, 2010

MAN CREATES LIFE…or THREATHENS TO DESTROY IT ?


"SCIENCE WITHOUT CONSCIENCE IS DEATH OF THE SOUL" Rabelais

John Craig Venter - the controversial American biologist behind the mapping of the human genome – arrogantly boasts of having created (and patented) life…! To some, this is a major scientific breakthrough and look upon Venter as a “god”; to others, Venter has opened the flood gate leading to the Apocalypse…The risks and dangers are very serious indeed (and irreversible) for humanity and life on this planet. This “technology”could open the gates to genetic manipulation of (patented) human beings (eugenism), of animals and of other forms of life, and to the creation of deadly biological weapons, viruses, etc…

In October 2004, the journal Nature warned:

"if biologists are indeed on the threshold of synthesizing new life forms, the scope for abuse or inadvertent disaster could be huge."

What is painfully obvious is that science divorced from morality and spirituality is a mortal recipe which will annihilate human life and all life on the planet.

As Einstein and Martin Luther King lucidly said:

" It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. MORALITY is of the highest importance, but for us, not for God. If we are good only because we fear punishment and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

Albert Einstein

" Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power; we have guided missiles and misguided men...; if we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values: that all reality hinges on MORAL foundations and that all reality has spiritual control...The Moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice."

Martin Luther King

And as Billy Meier - the true prophet of the New Age - has prophetically written in the Henoch Prophecies:

Horrifying weapons and a possible world war

Due to the fault of scientists, enormous power will be seized by the power-hungry and their military, their warriors and terrorists, and power will be seized as well through laser weapons of many types, but also via atomic, chemical and biological weapons.

Also concerning genetic technology, enormous misuse will occur, because this will be unrestrainedly exploited for the purposes of war, not lastly due to the cloning of human beings for warring purposes, as this was practised in ancient times with the descendants of Henoch in the regions of Sirius.

However, this will not be all of the horrors; as besides the genetic technology and the chemical weapons, far worse and more dangerous and more deadly weapons of mass destruction will be produced and will be used. The irresponsible politicians will unscrupulously exercise their power, assisted by scientists and obedient military forces serving them, who together hold a deadly sceptre and will create clone-like beings which will be bred in a total lack of conscience and will be scientifically manipulated to become killer machines. Division by division and devoid of any feelings, they will destroy, murder and annihilate everything.

If the Third World War will actually happen—as calculations and observations appear to indicate to be probable now and also during the approaching few decades—then, as now, the civilian population will above all have to bear the brunt of the enormous suffering in tremendous numbers in this entire catastrophe and, last but not least, the fault of the irresponsible scientists who by cloning will create human machines for military purposes, devoid of conscience and feelings, and will create immensely deadly and all-annihilating computer-like weapons. At the same time, the danger could become reality that the human combat machines, the military clones, will gain their independence and under their own management will bring death, devastation, destruction and annihilation to the human beings of Earth and to the planet.

...evil military powers will wreak havoc with computerised and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, whereby it will also happen that computerised weapons become independent and cannot be controlled any longer by human beings. Overall, this is the most important part of Henoch's prophecies.

You can read the entire Henoch Prophecies on this blog at the following link:

http://yajnacentre.blogspot.com/2009/08/prophecies-predictions-for-humanity-for.html

I also encourage you to view the following video to get a glimpse of the frightening future that awaits humanity...

http://yajnacentre.blogspot.com/2009/09/biotechnology-genetics-human-cloning.html

Below is a recent press article released by ETC Group on this very serious issue:

News Release
20 May 2010
www.etcgroup.org

“Synthia” is Alive … and Breeding

Panacea or Pandora's Box?


As Craig Venter announces lab-made life, ETC Group calls for Global Moratorium on Synthetic Biology.

In a paper published today in the journal Science, the J. Craig Venter Institute and
Synthetic Genomics Inc announced the laboratory creation of the world's first self reproducing organism whose entire genome was built from scratch by a computer.(1)
The construction of this synthetic organism, anticipated and dubbed "Synthia" by the
ETC Group three years ago, will stir a firestorm of controversy over the ethics of
building artificial life and the implications of the largely unknown field of synthetic
biology.

A synthetic bacteria to save humanity and the planet…?

Panacea, or…?

According to today’s publication, "Synthia" ( name given to the synthetic bacteria by ETC Group) could be a boon to second-generation agrofuels making it – theoretically – possible to feed people and cars simultaneously. The article further suggests that Synthia, or synthetic biology, could help clean up the environment, save us from climate change, and address the food crisis. "Synthia is not a one-stop-shop for all our societal woes," disputes Pat Mooney, Executive Director of ETC Group, an international technology watchdog based in Canada. “It is much more likely to cause a whole new set of problems governments and society are ill-prepared to address."

…Pandora's Box?

"This is the quintessential Pandora’s box moment - like the splitting of the atom or the cloning of Dolly the sheep. We will all have to deal with the fall-out from this alarming experiment," comments Jim Thomas of the ETC Group. "Synthetic biology is a high-risk profit-driven field, building organisms out of parts that are still poorly understood.(2) We know that lab-created life-forms can escape, become biological weapons, and that their use threatens existing natural biodiversity. Most worrying of all, Craig Venter is handing this powerful technology to the world’s most irresponsible and environmentally damaging industry by partnering with the likes of
BP and Exxon to hasten the commercialization of synthetic life-forms."(3)

Synthetic biology refers to the construction of novel life-forms using synthetic DNA
made from off-the-shelf chemicals - a form of "extreme genetic engineering". The team behind today’s announcement, led by controversial scientist and entrepreneur Craig Venter, is associated with a private company, Synthetic Genomics Inc, bankrolled by the US government and energy behemoths BP and Exxon. Synthetic Genomics recently announced a $600 million research and investment deal with Exxon Mobil in addition to a 2007 investment from BP for an undisclosed amount.

Venter, who led the private sector part of the human genome project ten years ago, has already applied for patents related to Synthia's technology.(4)
Although high-profile backers of synthetic biology now occupy key positions in the US Obama administration(5) there still remains no proper national or international
oversight of new high-risk, technologies that carry vast implications for humanity and the natural world. In 2006, ETC Group joined with other organizations to demand the formal, open and inclusive oversight of synthetic biology(6) and have since called for a global halt on research pending the development of global regulations.

ETC Group has reiterated that call at a scientific meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Nairobi attended by more than 100 governments.(7)

Pandemonium?

The lack of global rules governing the field also concerns many governments, illustrated by the biodiversity talks in Nairobi. Mundita Lim of the Philippines delegation to the CBD expressed her country’s concerns "about the serious
potential impacts of synthetic biology on biodiversity... we believe that there should be no field release of synthetic life, cell or genome into the environment until thorough scientific assessments have been conducted in a transparent, open and participatory process involving all Parties, indigenous and local communities that will all be potentially affected by these synthetic life forms with unknown consequences on biodiversity, the environment and livelihoods." Today’s announcement will give new urgency to the debate on synthetic biology and provide a dramatic example of the need for rigorous oversight over new technologies before their environmental or commercial release is permitted.

News Release
ETC Group
7 June 2007
www.etcgroup.org

Patenting Pandora’s Bug

Goodbye, Dolly...Hello, Synthia!


J. Craig Venter Institute Seeks Monopoly Patents on the World’s First-Ever Human-Made Life Form

ETC Group Will Challenge Patents on “Synthia” – Original Syn Organism Created in Laboratory

Ten years after Dolly the cloned sheep made her stunning debut, the J. Craig Venter Institute is applying for a patent on a new biological bombshell – the world’s first-ever human-made species.

The novel bacterium is made entirely with synthetic DNA in the laboratory.
The Venter Institute – named for its founder and CEO, J. Craig Venter, the scientist who led the private sector race to map the Human Genome – is applying for worldwide patents on what they refer to as “Mycoplasma laboratorium.” In the tradition of ‘Dolly,’ ETC has nicknamed this synthetic organism (or ‘syn’) ‘Synthia.’

“Synthia may not be as cuddly as a cloned lamb, but we believe this is a much bigger deal,” explains Jim Thomas of ETC Group, a civil society organization that is calling on the world’s patent offices to reject the applications. “These monopoly claims signal the start of a high-stakes commercial race to synthesize and privatize synthetic life forms. Will Venter’s company become the ‘Microbesoft’ of synthetic biology?” asks Jim Thomas.

“For the first time, God has competition,” adds Pat Mooney of ETC Group. “Venter and his colleagues have breached a societal boundary, and the public hasn’t even had a chance to debate the far-reaching social, ethical and environmental implications of synthetic life,” said Mooney.

In Vivo, In Vitro, In-Venter?

Published on May 31, 2007, the Venter Institute’s US Patent application (number 20070122826) claims exclusive ownership of a set of essential genes and a
synthetic “free-living organism that can grow and replicate” that is made using those genes. The Venter Institute has also filed an international patent application at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO number WO2007047148, published April 27, 2007) which names more than 100 countries where it may seek monopoly patents.

Pandora pending:

Patent experts consulted by ETC Group indicate that, based on the language
used in the application, the Venter Institute researchers had probably not achieved a fullyfunctioning organism at the time of the filing (October 12, 2006).

“It has been eight months since the Institute applied for its patents, so we don’t know how much progress they’ve made, whether there is a scientific paper in press or how imminent the first synthetic species is,” said Pat Mooney of ETC Group. “We’ve been hearing for more than two years now that Venter is on the verge of announcing the birth of a new bacterium. Many people think Venter’s company has the scientific expertise to do the job,” said Mooney.

Venter’s Institute claims that its stripped-down microbe could be the key to cheap energy production. The patent application claims any version of “Synthia” that can make ethanol or hydrogen. Since the research was partially funded by the US Department of Energy, the US government will hold “certain rights” to the patent, if approved.

“It’s purely speculation and hype that syns [synthetic living organisms] will be used to ameliorate climate change by producing cheap ethanol or hydrogen,” said Jim Thomas. “The same minimal microbe could be harnessed to build a virulent pathogen that could pose grave threats to people and the planet,” he said.

“Synthetic biologists have already assembled the poliovirus from off-the-shelf DNA, a feat that its constructor called ‘a giant wake up call’ because of the biowarfare implications. Syns are being hyped as a green, climate-change solution in order to deflect concerns that they could be used as bioweapons,” adds Silvia Ribeiro of ETC Group.
The patent application is also a wake-up call to synthetic biologists who are advocating for “open source” biology – the idea that the fundamental tools and components of synthetic biology should be freely accessible to researchers. In the June 4 issue of Newsweek Craig Venter boasts, “If we made an organism that produced fuel, that could be the first billion- or trillion-dollar organism. We
would definitely patent that whole process.”

In 2005, Venter founded Synthetic Genomics, Inc. to commercialize synthetic microbes for use in energy, agriculture and climate change remediation.

Syn of Omission?

Synthetic biologists may also be dismayed to learn that Synthia is being patented
for what it is not. The patent application explains that the inventors arrived at their minimal genome by determining which genes are essential and which are not. Remarkably, their patent application claims any synthetically-constructed organism that lacks at least 55 of 101 genes that they’ve determined are non-essential. “All synthetic biologists developing functionalized microbes are going to have to pay close attention to the claim on a ‘non-essential’ set of genes. If someone
creates another bug that lacks some of the same genes that Synthia lacks, will the Venter Institute sue them for infringing its patent?” asks Kathy Jo Wetter of ETC Group.

Action Needed:

Before syns are allowed to go forward, society must debate whether they are
socially acceptable or desirable: How could their accidental release into the environment be prevented or the effects of their intentional release be evaluated?

Who will control them, and how?

How will research be regulated? In 2006 a coalition of 38 civil society organizations called on synthetic biologists to withdraw proposals for self-governance of the technology. Today, ETC Group is writing to Dr. J. Craig Venter, CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute, asking him to withdraw the Institute’s patent applications filed at the U.S. PTO and WIPO, pending a full public debate over the implications of creating synthetic life forms.

“We don’t want to engage in a long-term legal strategy to slap down bad patents. These patents must be struck down before they’re issued,” said ETC Group’s Hope Shand. Last month, ETC Group won its 13-year legal challenge when the European Patent Office revoked Monsanto’s species-wide soybean patent.

ETC is also writing to WIPO and the U.S. PTO, asking them to reject the patent on the grounds that it is contrary to ordre public (public morality and safety). Later this month ETC Group will attend Synthetic Biology 3.0 (an international conference of synthetic biologists) in Zürich, Switzerland June 24-26 where it will call upon scientists to join in a global dialogue on synthetic biology.

ETC will organize meetings with governments and civil society during the upcoming scientific subcommittee meetings of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Paris, July 2-6, in order to discuss the implications of the creation of synthetic life forms for the Biodiversity Convention and for its protocol on biosafety. ETC Group will convene a global meeting of civil society actors on this and related issues within the next year.

For further information:

www.etcgroup.org

Jim Thomas (Montreal) jim@etcgroup.org Tel: 1 514 271 2539
Pat Mooney (Ottawa) etc@etcgroup.org Mobile: +1 613 261 0688
Silvia Ribeiro (Mexico) silvia@etcgroup.org Tel: + 52 5555 6326 64
Kathy Jo Wetter (North Carolina) kjo@etcgroup.org Tel: +1 919 960-5223
Hope Shand (North Carolina) hope@etcgroup.org Tel: +1 919 960-5223

Craig Venter can be contacted at: jcventer@jcvi.org

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