Biologists have created the most advanced artificial cells

Modern science is far enough advanced in the creation of various artificial organs and this is not news. And how do you artificial cells that can perform many of the functions of their living counterparts, but non-biological mechanisms in the conventional sense? Of course, when examining under the microscope any biologist will immediately identify an artificial cell, but it’s still a real breakthrough in medicine, as to create artificial structural element of the body with this level of organization had not done before.

But, according to the reaction of the journal Science, this has been the group of researchers from the University of California in San Diego led by biologist Neal Devaraj. As you know, there are many outside cells have a lipid membrane for exchange with neighbors and the surrounding space of information and various substances. In this case, is a layer of polymerized acrylate plastic. Like real cells, they artificially recreated analogues can produce proteins that transmit signals to other cells and change their behavior in response to those who came to him signals. The only “biological” part of the cell is DNA, which however, if desired, can also be synthesized.

“Artificial core “talks” with the rest of the cell, releasing RNA, which is involved in protein synthesis. This may be the most important discovery in biology in recent times.” — said the scientists.

To create an artificial cell experts used a silicon chip with microscopic fluid-filled channels to highlight the tiny droplets that contain “raw”: DNA, minerals, and separate the molecules of the acrylate. Then, using UV radiation and chemical treatment, around each drop was the formation of the porous membrane. At the same time, minerals and DNA inside the drop, condensed into a gel with a texture similar in consistency to a soft contact lens. It turned the cell nucleus.


Experiment with artificial cells. One type of cells (Magenta) synthesizes and secretes a green fluorescent protein that absorbs the other type of cells (gray)

In addition, synthetic cells showed the ability to change their behavior depending on the situation. In another experiment the scientists placed a synthesizing cells in a solution with lots of protein and green cells were not active. Thus, when the protein concentration decreased to a critical level, all cells started its production.

In the future, artificial cells could be plenty of applications. For example, they can be “tuned” for the production of certain substances and they are synthesized only under condition of presence of pathogens. Or they can be used as a diagnostic tool, identifying the level of toxic substances in case of poisoning or of tumor markers in Oncology.

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