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.