Further to my reply to Steve Kurtz’s comments (“Living within the evironments, 30 January) I don’t thik it can be emphasised too much just how much we’ll be able to reconnect ourselves to the natural environment by the use of synthetic DNA production methods. ‘Synthetic DNA’ is an unfortunate misnomer in this context but so far it’s the only term we have at present. What is mean by synthetic DNA in this context is that it’s essentially perfectly normal DNA but has additional genes that makes it incapable of reproducing.
The only human activities for which we’d need non-recyclable materials and equipment — say, using metals and exotic non carbon-based compunds — are those needed for scientific experiments. But these can be housed in sreas which don’t impinge on nature anyway — tops of mountains, underground, in some deserts which can’t support life forms, etc. Indeed, many scientific experiments in the future for size — will probably need to be done in space anyway, or on the moon perhaps.
I’m talking a very long way into the future — and maybe we’ll blow ourselves up before then or meet with some pandemic which will turn out to have 100% mortality for our species — but when one considers the huge range of biological research now pouring out of labs in some of our advanced countries then I see no reasn why we shouldn’t develop a total make-over for almost every ‘unnatural’ materials and methods in use today. I see no reason why a very advanced cilization should not also be entirely natural in its design and practice.