is life? The most basic and smallest form of life we know is a single
cell. Trying to create living cells from scratch is therefore the
ultimate goal for Alexander Mason. However, as a cell consists of lots
of parts and has many different functions this is a big challenge. In
this video lecture Alexander Mason explains how he uses non-living
materials like proteins and polymers as building blocks that we can
hopefully one day use to build something that approaches life.
ability to create a cell with any desired function could be a really
powerful tool to solve many challenges we face in our society. For
example, we could make anartificial kidneythat
can filter blood to help people who suffer with chronic kidney disease.
Or we can make an artificial cell that releases medicine in a specific
location in the body at a specific time, to better treat difficult
chronic diseases like cancer. By creating life in the lab we could even
gain insight into the origin of life on earth.