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Can synthetic biology shed light on the origins of life?

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. I argue that synthetic biology might also shed some novel and interesting perspectives on the question of the origins 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 origins.
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Contributor : Christophe Malaterre <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 2:02:17 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 4:45:51 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00792148, version 1


Christophe Malaterre. Can synthetic biology shed light on the origins of life?. Biological Theory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press), 2009, 4 (4), pp.357-367. ⟨halshs-00792148⟩



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