Synthetic cells have senses too

this article is about Prof Liu and Prof Noireaux’s project aim is to construct synthetic cells, consisting of a cell-free expression system encapsulated into a cell-sized phospholipid vesicle, capable of sensing the environment through its lipid bilayer by expressing mechanosensitive channels.

What defines a living cell? How to capture the molecular essence of life? These fundamental questions underpin the collaborative research programme led by Prof Allen Liu at the University of Michigan and Prof Vincent Noireaux at the University of Minnesota. The pair uses molecular components to construct prototypes of synthetic cells displaying the minimal characteristics of life. Their ‘cell analogs’ […]

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