Life: In search of the simplest cell

  title={Life: In search of the simplest cell},
  author={E{\"o}rs Szathm{\'a}ry},
  • E. Szathmáry
  • Published 3 February 2005
  • Computer Science, Medicine
  • Nature
Top-down, bottom-up; RNA-based, lipid-based; theory, experiment — there are many different ways of investigating what constitutes a ‘minimal cell’. Progress requires finding common themes between them. 
On being the right size
  • E. Holmes
  • Biology, Medicine
    Nature Genetics
  • 2005
A new study shows that a relatively minor increase in replication fidelity may have had a large effect on the size, and hence complexity, of early replicators.
Protocells: At the Interface of Life and Non-Life
To synthesize in laboratory these different types of protocells, which stand at the interface between life and non-life, would greatly enhance the understanding on the essence of life.
Systems Biology Perspectives on Minimal and Simpler Cells
This work focuses on systems biology, a discipline that is greatly facilitating the classical top-down and bottom-up approaches toward minimal cells, and reviews key concepts central to the mapping and modeling of complexity, which is at the heart of research on minimal cells.
Chemical Aspects of Synthetic Biology
  • P. Luisi
  • Chemistry, Medicine
    Chemistry & biodiversity
  • 2007
‘chemical synthetic biology’ is concerned with the synthesis of chemical structures such as proteins, nucleic acids, vesicular forms, and other which do not exist in nature.
Synthetic Biology: Life, Jim, but Not As We Know It
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s classic tale of horror, warns of the perils of hubris: of the terrible fate that awaits when Man plays God and attempts to create life. Molecular biologists are clearly
Approaches to semi-synthetic minimal cells: a review
Following is a synthetic review on the minimal living cell, defined as an artificial or a semi-artificial cell having the minimal and sufficient number of components to be considered alive. We
The in silico prediction of bacterial essential genes
This chapter will give an overview of some of the methodologies employed for the identification and prediction of essential genes, discussing the benefits and drawbacks of the methods, with particular focus on in silico strategies.
Life With a Few Genes: A Survey on Naturally Evolved Reduced Genomes
The state of the art of reduced sequenced genomes is reviewed, there is a fraction of essential genes which are particular to each one of the species analyzed, thus defining a diversity of possible minimal genomes.
Prebiotic replicase evolution in a surface-bound metabolic system: parasites as a source of adaptive evolution
It is shown that the surface-bound metabolic replicator system is viable despite internal competition among the genes and that it also maintains a set of mild "parasitic" sequences which occasionally evolve functions such as that of a replicase.
Phage Therapy: What Have We Learned?
The shift in position of the authorities, academia, media, non-governmental organizations, regulatory agencies, patients, and doctors which could enable further advances in the research and application of phage therapy are discussed.