From the article "Life 2.0" (MSNBC):
So far, researchers have fabricated individual biological building blocks, but they have yet to create an entirely new synthetic self-replicating organism. "Chemical synthesis of life has been a standing challenge to synthetic organic chemistry," says Venter (with palpable impatience). But SynBio researchers see no reason to wait until whole organisms can be created from scratch. They are happy to stitch together lab-designed biological components, or "biodevices," with parts of natural cells to construct hybrid organisms. The SynBio enterprise is not some ivory-tower exercise but a pragmatic field that could soon produce results. Church, who at 53 is an elder SynBio guru, thinks it could happen as soon as two years from now if funding is ramped up and scientists don't run into major snags.