Javier Macía, Andreea Munteanu, Carlos Rodríguez-Caso, Ricard Solé

Paper #: 06-09-033

Cells are the building blocks of biological complexity. They are complex systems sustained by the coordinated cooperative dynamics of several biochemical networks. Their replication, adaptation and computational features emerge as a consequence of appropriate molecular feedbacks that somehow define what life is. As the last decades have brought the transition from the description-driven biology to the synthesis-driven biology, one great challenge shared by both the fields of bioengineering and origin-of-life is to find the appropriate conditions under which living cellular structures can effectively emerge and persist. Here we review current knowledge (both theoretical and experimental) on possible scenarios of artificial cell design and their future challenges.