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Can synthetic biology shed light on the origin of life?

Malaterre, Christophe (2009) Can synthetic biology shed light on the origin of life? [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    It is a most commonly accepted hypothesis that life originated from inanimate matter, somehow being a synthetic product of organic aggregates, and as such, a result of some sort of prebiotic synthetic biology. In the past decades, the newly formed scientific discipline of synthetic biology has set ambitious goals by pursuing the complete design and production of genetic circuits, entire genomes or even whole organisms. In this paper, I argue that synthetic biology might also shed some novel and interesting perspectives on the question of the origin of life, and that, in addition, it might challenge our most commonly accepted definitions of life, thereby changing the ways we might think about life and its origin.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Final version published in: Biological Theory (Fall 2009), 4(4): 357-367 http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/BIOT_a_00002
    Keywords: Synthetic biology, origin of life, definition of life, prebiotic chemistry
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
    Specific Sciences > Biology
    Depositing User: Christophe Malaterre
    Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5414
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5414

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