Cells Made of Metal


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Upon first reading this piece on Cells Made from Metal I was very skeptical. I thought I could have stumbled upon a Sci-fi site or a strange conspiracy theory, but this
is actually going on!

In class we discussed the chance of life being on other planets and the concept that it may be very different from us. If we were to find extraterrestrial life it may not be the kind of life we would be expecting.

It is traditionally thought that life itself must be carbon based, but a British scientist believes that he has created life from another element. Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow claims to have done the impossible. He has created what appears to be a non-carbon life form made from metal... 

"I am 100 percent positive that we can get evolution to work outside organic biology," he said.

metal_0.jpg
The "bubbles" (as seen above ) he created have properties of biological cells and are composed of molecules made from metal. Different compartments and layers of bubbles perform different functions coming together to form something like an organelle.

What is even more fascinating is that the cells are in what appear to be early stages of evolving, opening up the idea for creating even more realistic cells capable of naturally reproducing with a DNA code. 

 The implications of this would be huge requiring a lot of science to be rewritten. Practical use could be endless, man could create organs that would make man half robotic or even make a completely new organism of its own.

 For now these ideas are merely fantasies but as Cronin continues his work they could become closer to reality everyday. If he accomplishes nothing else, he has opened scientists eyes to possibilities other than carbon based life, changing a norm in the scientific community.

If these cells were controllable and functional, what other practical uses could they be put toward? Are aliens more likely to be like the terminator than the slimy squid looking things we like to imagine? 


  

2 Comments

When you said, "Practical use could be endless, man could create organs that would make man half robotic or even make a completely new organism of its own," this particularly caught my interest. I little while back I wrote a blog about scientific research that could help people who have lost their limbs, usually in war. This science is already being created and practiced, however after reading about this I thought of something possibly even better. I know that it would be a very long and hard process, however the first thing that came to my mind was, "can't these robot-like properties and ability to create new organisms be an amazing advance for people with missing limbs?" I know it may be a fantastical idea, however why not? Why can't these magical little organisms create a new, working leg for someone?

Many of the planets scientists have deemed uninhabitable may become habitable because of this discovery. We know that life could be possibly be everywhere and that we just don't know what we are looking for. Although, scientists have taken liberties to reduce the what could be a "goldilocks planet", as seen in Kepler's discoveries. But just the fact that this organism has shown growth to this stage, can mean a whirlwind of things for the search of extraterrestrial life. How many have we overlooked? The implications for the church and human beings all over the world.

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