The first step to creating artificial form of life

22.12.2004

22.12.2004


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Staff at Rockefeller University in the United States are taking the first steps towards the creation of artificial life forms. They have received a small artificial vesicles, or education in the form of bubbles that can "handle" the genes that are rough semblance of biological cells.

Parts of these "vezikulnyh bioreactors," as scientists call them, are taken from various sources. Thus, soft cell walls consist of molecules of fat, protein derived from eggs, filled cell extract of E. coli conventional Coli, devoid of its genetic content.

Artificial vesicles contain most of the biological machinery required for the production of protein. They also add enzyme derived from a virus that could vesicle "process" the DNA code. This allows to produce the vesicle proteins, such as normal cells.

First, scientists have used in their experiments, the gene for green fluorescent protein derived from a particular type jellyfish. The glow of the protein indicates that the "treatment" of genes goes. In experiments with a second gene derived from staphylococcal bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, on the cell walls are formed small pores that allow nutrients to accumulate long-term functioning of cells.

Project manager Albert Libshaber indicates it — inanimate bioreactors that they are just simple chemical reactions that occur as a biological solution in which the cells are absent. It seeks to create the smallest synthetic organism comprising the cell wall and a number of genetic networks that would allow it to function like a living cell.

In connection with these activities seem to have to rethink the concept of life. "I personally see life as a movement with a computer program.'s All. However, not everyone shares this point of view," — said Libshaber. He also stressed that his experiments are not dangerous. New artificial cells can only operate a special nutrient solution. This is the BBC.

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