PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Ponder the Meaning of (Artificial) Life

PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Ponder the Meaning of (Artificial) Life

Bloggers often seem more interested in scientific discoveries than the traditional press. And last week, one such scientific achievement led the online conversation despite receiving very little coverage in the mainstream media.

For the week of May 17-21, fully 20% of the news links on blogs were about the American scientists who developed the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The nuanced discussion of so-called "artificial life" centered on three major themes: the importance and potential of the breakthrough; whether the act of creating synthetic cells is ethical; and the significance of the achievement in our understanding of God and religion.

Read the full report, Bloggers Ponder the Meaning of (Artificial) Life, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.