Source: NASA

Authors: Tara Friesen

Published Date: Thu, 02 May 2024 18:18:15 +0000

Summary: Scientists are developing synthetic cells, which are non-living biochemical structures wrapped in a membrane that mimic biological processes, to better understand cellular functions. This research could lead to new ways to fight diseases, support long-duration human spaceflight, and understand the origins of life on Earth. A recent paper in ACS Synthetic Biology outlines the potential of synthetic cell development and the challenges ahead, providing a roadmap for future innovation. Lead author Lynn Rothschild from NASA’s Ames Research Center highlights the field’s potential to create life forms capable of withstanding extreme environments and advancements in food and medical sciences. These innovations could improve food production, detect manufacturing contaminants, and develop new therapies for chronic diseases and synthetic organ transplants. Synthetic cell research also addresses questions about the possibility of life beyond Earth and enhances our understanding of natural life’s complexities.

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