Scientists Produce an Artificial Cell Membrane


Chemists have produced an artificial cell membrane like structure. Their long term goal is to produce a totally synthetic cell it is an important step to producing one. The molecules of which cell membranes are made have mix easily with water on one side and trepel it on the other. In water these parts form a double layer with water mixing side out and water repelling side in that produce  barrier that keeps in the the cell' contents. Real cells join two chains of lipids by way of  complex enzymes which are embedded in their own membranes. This presents a problem  for naturalistic was to produce the first membranes. Devaraj and Budin made similar molecules that use a very simple metal ion to join the two chains of lipids that has no biological equivalent.

While this is a major mile stone in making a totally synthetic cell it is along way from one. It needs to be noted that this was done in a controlled lab environment where the results could be protected. environmental conditions that could destroy it. Ultimately what this show is that intelligent scientists can produce a cell membrane like structure from oil, soap and copper ions.

To go from this a cell would require encoding a genome, making the molecular machinery needed to make read the genome and form protein on demand, making the molecular machinery needed to transport the manufactured proteins to where they are needed, and this is just the beginning of is needed. They would then need to form this membrane into a sealed structure put all this molecular machinery into it in an organized manner and find a way to jump start it/

 


 

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