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Protocells – Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Protocells: Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter

Steen Rasmussen, Mark A. Bedau, Liaohai Chen, David Deamer, David C. Krakauer, Norman H. Packard, and Peter F. Stadler


This book offers a comprehensive resource on current attempts to create simple forms of life from scratch in the laboratory. These minimal versions of cells, known as protocells, are entities with lifelike properties created from nonliving materials, and the book provides in-depth investigations of processes at the interface between nonliving and living matter. Chapters put this state-of-the-art research in the context of theory, laboratory work, and computer simulations on the components and properties of protocells. The book also provides perspectives on research in related areas and such br ... More

Keywords: forms of life, laboratory, cells, protocells, nonliving materials, living matter, computer simulations, minimal life, origin of life, living technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262182683
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262182683.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steen Rasmussen, editor

Mark A. Bedau, editor

Liaohai Chen, editor

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3 Semisynthetic Minimal Cells: New Advancements and Perspectives

Pasquale Stano, Giovanni Murtas, and Pier Luigi Luisi

4 A Roadmap to Protocells

Steen Rasmussen, Mark A. Bedau, John S. McCaskill, and Norman H. Packard

5 Steps Toward a Synthetic Protocell

Martin M. Hanczyc, Irene A. Chen, Peter Sazani, and Jack W. Szostak

6 Assembly of a Minimal Protocell

Steen Rasmussen, James Bailey, James Boncella, Liaohai Chen, Gavin Collis, Stirling Colgate, Michael DeClue, Harold Fellermann, Goran Goranović, Yi Jiang, Chad Knutson, Pierre-Alain Monnard, Fouzi Mouffouk, Peter E. Nielsen, Anjana Sen, Andy Shreve, Arvydas Tamulis, Bryan Travis, Pawel Weronski, William H. Woodruff, Jinsuo Zhang, Xin Zhou, and Hans Ziock

7 Population Analysis of Liposomes with Protein Synthesis and a Cascading Genetic Network

Takeshi Sunami, Kanetomo Sato, Keitaro Ishikawa, and Tetsuya Yomo

9 Origin of Life and Lattice Artificial Chemistry

Naoaki Ono, Duraid Madina, and Takashi Ikegami

10 Models of Protocell Replication

Ricard V. Solé, Javier Macía, Harold Fellermann, Andreea Munteanu, Josep Sardanyés, and Sergi Valverde

13 Self-Replication and Autocatalysis

Volker Patzke, and Günter von Kiedrowski

14 Replicator Dynamics in Protocells

Peter F. Stadler, and Barbel M. R. Stadler

16 The Core of a Minimal Gene Set: Insights from Natural Reduced Genomes

Toni Gabaldón, Rosario Gil, Juli Peretó, Amparo Latorre, and Andrés Moya

17Parasitism and Protocells: Tragedy of the Molecular Commons

Jeffrey J. Tabor, Matthew Levy, Zachary Booth Simpson, and Andrew D. Ellington

19 Numerical Methods for Protocell Simulations

Yi Jiang, Bryan Travis, Chad Knutson, Jinsuo Zhang, and Pawel Weronski

20 Core Metabolism as a Self-Organized System

Eric Smith, Harold J. Morowitz, and Shelley D. Copley

22 Gánti’s Chemoton Model and Life Criteria

James Griesemer, and Eörs Szathmáry

23 Viral Individuality and Limitations of the Life Concept

David C. Krakauer, and Paolo Zanotto

27 Cell-like Entities: Scientific Challenges and Future Applications

John M. Frazier, Nancy Kelley-Loughnane, Sandra Trott, Oleg Paliy, Mauricio Rodriguez Rodriguez, Leamon Viveros, and Melanie Tomczak

28 Social and Ethical Issues Concerning Protocells

Mark A. Bedau, and Emily C. Parke