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The wet-lab synthesis of the simplest forms of life (minimal cells) is a challenging aspect in modern synthetic biology. Quasi-cellular systems able to produce proteins directly from DNA can be obtained by encapsulating the cell-free transcription/translation system PURESYSTEM™(PS) in liposomes. It is possible to detect the intra-vesicle protein production(More)
This paper is a theoretical attempt to gain insight into the problem of how self-assembling vesicles (closed bilayer structures) could progressively turn into minimal self-producing and self-reproducing cells, i.e. into interesting candidates for (proto)biological systems. With this aim, we make use of a recently developed object-oriented platform to carry(More)
In this paper, we apply a recently developed stochastic simulation platform to investigate the dynamic behaviour of minimal 'self-(re-)producing' cellular systems. In particular, we study a set of preliminary conditions for appearance of the simplest forms of autonomy in the context of lipid vesicles (more specifically, lipid-peptide vesicles) that enclose(More)
Spherical bounded structures such as those formed by surfactant aggregates (mostly micelles and vesicles), with an inside that is chemically and physically different from the outside medium, can be seen as primitive cell models. As such, they are fundamental structures for the theory of autopoiesis as originally formulated by Varela and Maturana. In(More)
In previous works we have explored the dynamics of chemically reacting proto-cellular systems, under different experimental conditions and kinetic parameters, by means of our stochastic simulation platform 'ENVIRONMENT'. In this paper we, somehow, turn the question around: accepting some broad modeling assumptions, we investigate the conditions under which(More)
Contemporary biological cells are highly sophisticated dynamic compartment systems which separate an internal volume from the external medium through a boundary, which controls, in complex ways, the exchange of matter and energy between the cell's interior and the environment. Since such compartmentalization is a fundamental principle of all forms of life,(More)
Recent experimental work in the field of synthetic protocell biology has shown that prebiotic vesicles are able to 'steal' lipids from each other. This phenomenon is driven purely by asymmetries in the physical state or composition of the vesicle membranes, and, when lipid resource is limited, translates directly into competition amongst the vesicles. Such(More)