Scientists in Seattle have made a major breakthrough in designing computer-aided design systems to allow them to build artificial life forms.

In a research project which sounds like it was inspired by Will Wright's magnum opus Spore, the group of synthetic biologists are now designing artificial life forms with the new CAD system.

Meddling with Artificial Life

Deepak Chandran and his colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle have made the breakthrough, naming their new CAD system 'Tinkercell' – a new technology which the New Scientist claims will, "allow biologists to meddle with the components of, say, a bacterium, and simulate the effect the change has."

"The package has a library of the components of life, from which users can pick different cells, membrane proteins, fluorescent proteins, enzymes and genes to create their organism. Tinkercell can then simulate the life form to see if it functions as expected."

For those who want to know a little bit more about the science behind the tech head over to the Journal of Biomedical Engineering.

Via Newscientist.com