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Scientists at Delft University of Technology play a leading role in this exciting new research direction that may ultimately lead to intimate understanding of the inner workings of a cell.Research supporting the initiative could lead to advances in biotechnology, health and energy.“We wanted to close the cycle and be the first to reconstruct the entire flow of genetic information inside a cell-like structure called a liposome”, said group leader Christophe Danelon.
The yield of phospholipids was still too small to sustain growth, but Danelon is confident his group can optimize this process. In modern cells, it requires a streamlined process in which copied DNA is neatly packed and then evenly distributed towards the poles of the cell.
Concurrently, specialized proteins squeeze the mother cell into two daughter cells.
Danelon thinks a simple ‘budding’ mechanism could also do the trick.
“I think we can create liposomes that grow until they start budding.
Van Nies and Danelon worked with these researchers to combine the genes that encode for the replication mechanism with the genetic code that is necessary to operate the Japanese module for transcription and translation.