Science: The Making of an Amoeba

Serious scientific thinkers have long speculated­and, indeed, sometimes feared­that man may eventually be able to tailor living organisms, including himself, to suit highly specific needs. Though such "genetic engineering" is still a distant goal, it seemed just a little closer last week. After a dazzling series of experiments, researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo reported that they have succeeded many times in reassembling parts of three different amoebae­microscopic, one-celled animals­into one fully functioning new cell.

Other scientists have "created" new cells in the past, usually by taking the nucleus of one and implanting it into another whose nucleus...

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