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A synthetic approach to abiogenesis

Abstract

Synthetic biology seeks to probe fundamental aspects of biological form and function by construction (resynthesis) rather than deconstruction (analysis). Here we discuss how such an approach could be applied to assemble synthetic quasibiological systems able to replicate and evolve, illuminating universal properties of life and the search for its origins.

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Figure 1: Synthetic biological systems of increasing simplicity.
Figure 2: Helpful heterogeneity in an RNA-based protocell.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Homerton College, Cambridge, Junior Research Fellowship (J.A.) and by the Medical Research Council (programme number U105178804).

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Correspondence to Philipp Holliger.

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Attwater, J., Holliger, P. A synthetic approach to abiogenesis. Nat Methods 11, 495–498 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2893

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