, Volume 37, Issue 4-5, pp 469-472
Date: 07 Jul 2007

Question 9: Prospects for the Construction of Artificial Cells or Protocells

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Abstract

The construction of artificial cells or protocells that are a simplified version of contemporary cells will have implications for both the understanding of the origins of cellular Life and the design of “cell-like” chemical factories. In this short communication, we discuss the progress and remaining issues related to the construction of protocells from metabolic products. We further outline the de novo design of a simple chemical system that mimics the functional properties of a living cell without being composed of molecules of biological origin, thereby addressing issues related to Life’s origins.

Presented at: International School of Complexity—4th Course: Basic Questions on the Origins of Life; “Ettore Majorana” Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture, Erice, Italy, 1–6 October 2006.