Perched on a cliff in San Diego, California, reminiscent of Mary Shelley’s novel in which a scientist, Dr. Frankenstein, creates artificial life, Dr. Gerald Joyce can be considered his modern day counterpart. Dr. Joyce is also trying to create life, but in a thimble-size test tube, rather than from human body parts.
Although these are bizarre things, scientists and sci-fi fans have pondered this possibility for ages. Some people even think we will someday encounter an alien from another world, but Dr. Joyce is close to creating an alien life in the test tube.
It’s debatable among scientists as to what constitutes life, but some may say Dr. Joyce already created a life form in 2007.
In 2007, Dr. Joyce and his assistant, a graduate student, Tracey Lincoln, who is now a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, created a “molecule” in a test tube that could reproduce, and evolve by itself. According to Dr. Joyce, it “swapped jerry-built genes “in a test tube as long as it was fed the right “engineered ingredients”.
This is astounding, and also humorous, in that Jerry is a nickname for Gerald, which is Dr. Joyce’s first name. Perhaps, Jerry will be the name of the very first unanimously accepted artificial life form, if created by Dr. Joyce. After all, Dr. Frankenstein named his creation Frankenstein.