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ScienceDaily (May 16, 2008) — A team of Penn State researchers has developed a simple artificial cell with which to investigate the organization and function of two of the most basic cell components: the cell membrane and the cytoplasm--the gelatinous fluid that surrounds the structures in living cells. The work could lead to the creation of new drugs that take advantage of properties of cell organization to prevent the development of diseases. The team's findings will be published later this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
With a cell membrane that was now too large and also unconstrained by its spherical shape, the cell converted to a budded form. A dextran-rich mixture filled the bud while a PEG-rich mixture remained inside the body of the cell. This new structure exhibited the type of complexity that the team had been looking for; it exhibited polarity. "Polarity is critical to development," said Keating. "It is an important first step in the development of a complex multi-cellular organism, like a human being, in which different cells perform different functions."
Although Keating and her colleagues plan to continue adding components to their model cell, they don't expect to make a real cell.
Originally posted by MemoryShock
A great story indeed...I wonder how long until they can stave off emotion so as to manipulate reactions to "fill in the blank"
The day is coming...
Originally posted by projectvxn
Well since emotional reactions pretty much write the code for cell behavior(through proteins and amino acids) it might be an interesting thing to see if these compounds can affect the behavior of an artificial cell.