Page last updated at 23:16 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 00:16 UK

Venter: Artificial living cell will benefit humanity

It is already being described as "one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind" - a new, entirely artificial life form created in a laboratory.

It is not a clone, or a genetically modified organism, but a synthetic living cell.

It is being hailed as a huge scientific step, but some are saying it is a step too far.

The cell was created in the laboratory of American scientist Dr Craig Venter, who told Newsnight that it was a breakthrough that would benefit humanity.

Broadcast on Thursday 20 May 2010.

Read more: Susan Watts considers the impact of Venter's 'synthetic life'

SEE ALSO

Story Tools

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific