First published 2 September 2013
Reconstitution of the protein synthesis system on a glass microchip
Yoshihiro Shimizu and Yo Tanaka
The field of synthetic biology aims to understand the mechanisms of biological systems by designing and constructing artificial biological systems from molecular parts. One of the ultimate goals of the approach is to develop an artificial cell that is under the control of scientists. Although the creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome was accomplished in recent years (1), the construction of a self-replicable artificial cell by organizing essential purified biological macromolecules remains to be achieved (2). Such bottom-up approach is an alternative way for the construction of minimal cells to the top-down approach utilizing natural living cells, which can be helpful for us to explore the boundary between life and nonlife.