Cell biology Intelligent Design

At Science Daily: Pioneering research using bacteria brings scientists a step closer to creating artificial cells with lifelike functionality

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Scientists have harnessed the potential of bacteria to help build advanced synthetic cells which mimic real life functionality.

The research, led by the University of Bristol and published today in Nature, makes important progress in deploying synthetic cells, known as protocells, to more accurately represent the complex compositions, structure, and function of living cells.

Establishing true-to-life functionality in protocells is a global grand challenge spanning multiple fields, ranging from bottom-up synthetic biology and bioengineering to origin of life research. Previous attempts to model protocells using microcapsules have fallen short, so the team of researchers turned to bacteria to build complex synthetic cells using a living material assembly process.

Note: The interpretation of the preceding paragraph is that researchers can’t get life from non-life, so they try getting life from life.

Dr Can Xu, Research Associate at the University of Bristol, added: “Our living-material assembly approach provides an opportunity for the bottom-up construction of symbiotic living/synthetic cell constructs. For example, using engineered bacteria it should be possible to fabricate complex modules for development in diagnostic and therapeutic areas of synthetic biology as well as in biomanufacturing and biotechnology in general.”

See Science Daily for the complete article.

5 Replies to “At Science Daily: Pioneering research using bacteria brings scientists a step closer to creating artificial cells with lifelike functionality

  1. 1
    Nonlin.org says:

    Since when: “synthetic cells, known as protocells”?

    They’re both pipe dreams. Watch them fall short once again. Unless they stretch the meaning of “synthetic” as they always do. Ask them if the dog is a “synthetic wolf”. Also known as a “proto wolf”. Hilarious!

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    These pioneers are going to create life from life… bravo!

  3. 3
    relatd says:

    That’s all they can do. One company is trying to produce a “minimal cell.” With the least components to keep it alive. They tried one version. Nothing. They had to add more “parts” to get something that worked. They are treating living cells like they were cars. ‘How many parts can we leave out and still have a working car’? Not many. Not many.

  4. 4
    Fasteddious says:

    I got the impression that the main purpose of this research is to better understand the complex inner workings of cells by making them as simple as possible. That is a valid exercise if it yields new and useful knowledge. But as previous commenters have said, it is all but useless as OOL research. Mind you, it could, in principle, further underscore the vast gap between the resources available on early, pre-biotic Earth, and even the simplest, self-sustaining life possible in that environment.

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    Fast at 4,

    The primary goal is to make money. To manipulate ‘functional’ cells into producing biological components for a profit. It has nothing to do with origin of life. This is strictly Intelligent Design, or to be more precise, Intelligent ReDesign.

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