The press is full of stories that a scientist has created artificial life. But what has really happened? In fact all that has happened is that a group of scientists have put together a specific genetic code and then put it into an existing cell. In other words, there is not much difference to what is already going on with genetic engineering.
Ben Davis, from the University of Oxford, said that we are '...quite a long way away from artificial life. You could take this synthetic genome and write in new genes with known functions, but that is not so different from molecular biology at the moment.'
The ethical problems remain the same as with existing genetic engineering.