A synthetic life form constructed in a lab from basic components could make its debut in the next 3 to 10 years, scientists say. Researchers are hard at work on creating a cell, which hopefully would be able to reproduce on its own. "It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," says one expert.
Researchers say that once they work out solutions to three major obstacles, artificial organisms may one day help combat problems like global warming and toxic waste, the AP reports. Some worry that artificial life might be dangerous, but scientists say that for now, any attempt will be so delicate that there's no danger of its running amok.