Life on Earth evolved once – this means that all biological systems on our planet are rooted in the same fundamental framework. This framework is extremely complex and we have yet to fully understand the processes inside each living cell. One way of understanding complex systems is to break them down into simpler parts. This is the principle of engineering the synthetic cell: to use our current knowledge of biology for building a living cell with the least amount of parts and complexity. Synthetic cells can be used to teach us about the basic principles of life and evolution, and they hold promise for a range of applications including biomaterials and drug development. Dr. Kate Adamala narrates a 2-part introduction to this exciting field.
Dr. Kate Adamala is a synthetic biologist and a McKnight Land-Grant Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include astrobiology, synthetic cell engineering and biocomputing. Adamala is a co-founder and steering group member of the international Build-a-Cell Initiative, which seeks to broaden the… Continue Reading