Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal

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posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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Scientist creates lifelike cells out of metal


www.mnn.com

Scientists trying to create artificial life generally work under the assumption that life must be carbon-based, but what if a living thing could be made from another element?

One British researcher may have proven that theory, potentially rewriting the book of life. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow has created lifelike cells from metal — a feat few believed feasible. The discovery opens the door to the possibility that there may be life forms in the universe not based on carbon,
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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Even more remarkable, Cronin has hinted that the metal-based cells may be replicating themselves and evolving.


Terminator anyone??


and also howls of outrage at "scientists playing god" from various religious zealots.

Apart from those 2 reactions it obviously opens our thinking to the possibility of life in places we never thought it possible - perhaps in the metallic hydrogen core of massive gas giant planets for example - lots of good fodder for sci-fi writers and UFO-nuts alike!


www.mnn.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:03 PM
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Nice find OP. I have recently posted in another thread on this topic. I mentioned how one of the first things i learned in science class , and one of the things that got me into considering alien life, was that the best option to replace carbon in organic matter is silicon. I was basically bombarded with main stream article after main stream article touting the certainty in the scientific community that no other element that exits can form the complex chains that carbon can. and how we have discovered all elements that would be a viable option. I was actually kinda stunned at the closed minded nature of some of the replies. maybe this will change and open some minds.

Again good find OP.
edit on 20-6-2012 by coven83 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:23 PM
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I'm not trying to burst anyone's bubble but it does read to be looking quite a bit away from 'Life' or 'living'. I mean, yes the stuff are there to make it happen, but if we can call this living then we may as well call Viruses living too. And viruses aren't living.

I was interested to know that the team is planning to equip them with photosynthesis stimuli. This will be really nice. To create life out of inorganic material. Not so special now, are we? It should be able to maintain homestasis, and it already can clone itself, so this isn't living just yet, but it's getting there



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:27 PM
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Oh jeez... Sky-Net is on the way. Dammit!



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:30 PM
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1. Not a functioning organism as of yet.

Cronin's team has also created bubbles inside of bubbles, which opens the door to the possibility of developing specialized "organelles." Even more compelling, some of the iCHELLs are being equipped with the ability to photosynthesize.
[...]
Although they aren't equipped with anything remotely resembling DNA, and therefore can't replicate themselves in the same way that real cells do, Cronin has nevertheless managed to create some polyoxometalates that can use each other as templates to self-replicate.
This is all he's done, the rest is speculation. What is funny is that a lot of enzymes and proteins self-replicated in pretty much this same manner, and no scientist out there calls them alive.

2. Serves no purpose as of yet. And I'm not talking about serving a purpose for us. Photosynthesis is an awesome way to store energy....may be able to harness this for better solar panels, one day.I mean that it serves no purpose for itself yet. It's not to that point. It's at a "make a bubble, copy a bubble" stage, so it can't be artificial life--yet.

3. Evolving into what? This is worded in an over-inflationary way, so as to make this thing look further along than it is. This is going to require more than hints before one should jump on this bandwagon.

4. This is creation. Not necessarily a "creationist view", but creation nonetheless:

some of the iCHELLs are being equipped
When you equip a bubble you make by forcing metals through some solution, you are creating. If and when you let them self-procreate, you still haven't changed a thing about these things being mere creations.

But overall? Awesome. I can see some applications that this would be useful for, in the future....as long as it doesn't have to stay immersed in it's solution to function.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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no one has said these things are alive - why is everyone getting hung up on that??



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 



The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive? Cronin has made a compelling case for the comparison by constructing the iCHELLS with a number of features that make them function much as real cells do.
No one is saying that they are, but "Cronin has made a compelling case" for them being alive. That's the issue. The case is not that compelling, at all, yet. But I could see this work actually getting to that point, one day.


Problem is that without a genetic code, this stuff is basically going to replicate as it touches more material, while in-solution--there's no "stop" code. The same way that left-handed, non living, artificial vitamin E would warp natural vitamin E into the same folded type as the artificial, or that dangerous prions take over the body (Mad Cow, Kuru.)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:45 PM
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If I get that living metal injected into me I bet I would have Wolverine's sideburns.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by Ml5edtoDeath
If I get that living metal injected into me I bet I would have Wolverine's sideburns.

Nah you'll just end up looking like a deformed transformer. (no pun intended)

You need to drink plenty of wolf blood every morning for that stylish Wolverine look.

edit on 20-6-2012 by _Phoenix_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul
no one has said these things are alive - why is everyone getting hung up on that??

Possibly the presence of the word lifelike in the article's title.
I was thinking "Transformers!) in an instant.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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interesting. this article is from 2011. why is it being reported now?



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:54 PM
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You can be damn sure that if this turns out to be a viable item, it will go 'black' faster than you can say National Security!
These kind of things tend to go that way, if there is any advances made in science they get swallowed up by the Military and rarely, if ever, get seen again.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


The compelling case is for comparing them to cells - not for them being alive. The 2nd use of "compelling" is also in refernce to their "lifelike" qualities.

As I read it the case is not that they ARE alive, but that they replicate many of the characteristics of life.

It is perhaps clearer in the New Scientist article-


It's early days; other synthetic biologists are reserving judgement for now. Cronin's bubbles are never going to be truly life-like until they carry something like DNA to drive self-replication and evolution, says Manuel Porcar of the University of Valencia in Spain. That is theoretically possible, he says, "but I cannot imagine what kind of system they would implement". Cronin isn't sure yet either, but last year he showed that he could get polyoxometalates to use each other as templates to self-replicate (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1181735).


that is abreviated a bit in the article I quoted in the OP.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by krossfyter
interesting. this article is from 2011. why is it being reported now?


In my case 'cos I only jsut noticed it and didn't pay attention to the dateline.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Aloysius the Gaul

Originally posted by krossfyter
interesting. this article is from 2011. why is it being reported now?


In my case 'cos I only jsut noticed it and didn't pay attention to the dateline.




no problems. just curious. this should be on the major news networks by now.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 

I got that from the original, but thanks for the other link as well. But *drily*: being compellingly like a cell, considering that cells are alive, is going to cause people to make note of whether or not the thing is alive or not enough to be like a cell in the first place. Merely being a sphere like many cells (but not all) is like stating a bouncy ball is a cell. Putting a bouncy ball inside of a bouncy ball is not making a cell-like thing, nor is making a bouncy ball that makes other bouncy balls. The compelling enough to be considered like a cell, or lifelike, since a cell is alive, is just not there yet. Not a matter of "having an argument against this thing being alive because someone said they were"--that's not happening....well, not yet, and let's hope people stay off that path.

Besides, merely stopping at the sentence I pulled that from, you're right.

Cronin has made a compelling case for the comparison by constructing the iCHELLS with a number of features that make them function much as real cells do.
Taking the whole context of the paragraph, I'm right.

The metallic bubbles are certainly cell-like, but are they actually alive?
This is the question: is it alive? The sentence I quoted from is the answer that they're going to give to this question--with further sentences to expound on it. Context is far more than 1 sentence in a paragraph.

~~~~~~~~~~ Added in:

But: it's an open answer. The writer and the creator are leaving this rather open, right now, leaving the reader to come to a conclusion.
edit on 20-6-2012 by CynicalDrivel because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 06:33 PM
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Forget the terminator!

Those xenomorphs from the Alien's movies were silicon based. Great just what we need. those things running around the galaxy.



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Yes - that was het point I was trying to make - they are leaving it open. I think it would be brave of somone to conclude either way just now, given that the people actually making them don't want to do so!



posted on Jun, 20 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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exhibiting cell like properties(semi-permeable membrane, interior membranes) is different enough from life to make the "life-like" description seem like a stretch.

Granted, this is an interesting bit of inorganic chemistry, but the whole reason why life on earth is carbon based is founded on the very nature of carbon and laws of chemistry. Not to decry his work, but we are a LONG way from being able to approach the complexity of organic chemistry through inorganic means. Perhaps the mechanisms won't be similar and the function will, but that only goes so far.

on the hyped up article.





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