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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Vatican Paper: Courage, Caution On New Cell

May 21, 2010 - 1:21 PM | by: Greg Burke

The Vatican newspaper said Friday that the most recent breakthrough in genetic engineering – the production of a synthetic cell – was a positive development, but one that had to be treated with care.

The paper noted that despite some of the headlines surrounding the discovery, there was no new “life” that had been produced.

One headline in Italy on Friday was: “MAN THE CREATOR” and another: “THE MAN WHO CREATED LIFE.”

“In reality it wasn’t life that was created; one of the motors was replaced,” the Osservatore Romano said.

“Beyond the claims and the headlines in the papers, it was an interesting result that was obtained, which can have applications, and should have some rules, like all things touch the heart of life,” the paper noted.

While the discovery could help in the treatment of some diseases, the Osservatore Romano noted, the paper said gene research should not be done haphazardly: “It means uniting courage with caution.”

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