The J. Craig Venter Institute just concluded a press conference where they announced the results of a 15 year project to make what could be called the ultimate medical gadget, a living, replicating cell.
From the announcement:
Now, this scientific team headed by Drs. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith and Clyde Hutchison have achieved the final step in their quest to create the first synthetic bacterial cell. In a publication in Science magazine, Daniel Gibson, Ph.D. and a team of 23 additional researchers outline the steps to synthesize a 1.08 million base pair Mycoplasma mycoides genome, constructed from four bottles of chemicals that make up DNA. This synthetic genome has been 'booted up' in a cell to create the first cell controlled completely by a synthetic genome.
Here's Venter's talk from TEDMED 2009 where he discussed some of his work from the research just announced:
Venter Institute: FIRST SELF-REPLICATING SYNTHETIC BACTERIAL CELL...
Abstract in Science : Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome...