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'Artificial life' comes step closer

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by fLIP, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Researchers at Rockefeller University in the US have made the first tentative steps towards creating a form of artificial life. Their creations, small synthetic vesicles that can process (express) genes, resemble a crude kind of biological cell. The parts for their "vesicle bioreactors", as they call them, all come from diverse realms of life. The soft cell walls are made of fat molecules taken from egg white. The cell contents are an extract of the common gut bug E. coli, stripped of all its genetic material. This essence of life contains ready-made much of the biological machinery needed to make proteins; the researchers also added an enzyme from a virus to allow the vesicle to translate DNA code. When they added genes, the cell fluid started to make proteins, just like a normal cell would. A gene for green fluorescent protein taken from a species of jellyfish was the first they tried. The glow from the protein showed that the genes were being transcribed.

    With a second gene, from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, the researchers got their cells to make small pores in their walls. These let nutrients in from the surrounding "soup", so that the cells could function, in some instances, for several days. Albert Libchaber, who heads the project, stresses that these bioreactors are not alive - they're performing simple chemical reactions that can also happen in cell-free biological fluids.
     
  2. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting.

    Imagine where it will be in 50 years.

    I thought it was the yolk that had fat, not the white in eggs. The white is protein isnt it??
     
  3. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Not sure. But I do know their is more nutrients for the human body in the egg shell and not the inside of the egg. Many native cultures around the world actually grind up the egg shell and add to meals. Some science is all about proving correct what some cultures have been doing for 1000's of years :lol:
     
  4. Hopium

    Hopium Member

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    Yolk has the fat... white has practically nothing in it.... trust me
     

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