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'


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