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Nigel Lockyer, Director Of The Iconic Fermi National Accelerator Lab In Chicago

Talk on creation of designer human beings

An Indo-US facility can make designer humans. Unknown to most a new Indo- American collaboration with outcomes that can change the way we view life itself, a billion dollar project seeks to address some of the most fundamental questions.

Nigel Lockyer, director of the iconic Fermi National Accelerator Lab in Chicago and the man credited with spearheading the discovery of the fundamental particle 'Top Quark', explains how his facility and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai have embarked on making a novel accelerator that could one day even lead to the creation of designer human beings, while on the way it may also help India tap its vast thorium reserves for a clean energy nirvana.

Excerpts from an interview:

What is state of the understanding we have of the Universe?

We have barely scratched the surface for an understanding of the universe, the nirvana of science in the future is going to be in the next 20-30 years when major-major discoveries are likely.

At present, India is collaborating with the United States especially the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai to develop a new type of accelerator that uses super-conducting technology.

This new accelerator will have many applications and one of the applications is called a free electron laser which allows you to look at the behaviour of soft materials at a very small time scales. Like say in Femto-seconds these are trillionth of a trillionth of a second and during that time you are able to see proteins inside of a cell opening up and you can determine its structure.

Which means getting to understand what life is?

Yes, understanding life, understanding the cell, understanding the basic building blocks of life which is enzymes, understanding reactions within the body, understanding everything.

This is the beginning of big campaign which may last a hundred years of trying to understand the body in detail and then you know what are the scientists going to do with that? .

 

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PTI