In 2010 scientists created the world’s first synthetic life form. The landmark experiment has paved the way for designer organisms that are built rather than evolved. The J. Craig Venter Institute took a bacterium’s DNA sequence as a computer file, modified it, made physical DNA from this sequence, and stuck this DNA into a cell, which then reproduced under control of the new DNA to create a new bacterium. This experiment shows you can create the DNA of an organism entirely from scratch. One interesting feature of this synthetic bacterium is it includes four “watermarks”, special sequences of DNA that prove this bacterium was created from a data file. Included in the DNA is a fully coded alphabet, the names of the 46 contributing scientists, three literary quotes and a hidden web page. These messages are a permanent part of the new life form. In the future, this type of discreet watermarking will help scientists to distinguish naturally evolved organisms from those engineered in a lab.