Synthetic Cells Made of Metal!

Source: University of Glasgow

As an avid fan of sci-fi, I’ve seen plenty of shows that speculate about lifeforms made of something other than carbon. Usually they take the form of silicon-based lifeforms. Although I’m not a chemist or biologist, from what I’ve learned from college chemistry (both inorganic and organic) and biology, there’s no scientific reason that lifeforms made of something other than carbon can’t exist.

Imagine my surprise when I find out that scientists from the University of Glasgow have created “cell-like bubbles” composed of tungsten, oxygen, and phosphorous. As DVICE puts it,

These bubbles can self-assemble, and they exhibit many of the same properties that allow biological cells to do what they do, including an internal structure and a selectively porous outer membrane that can let other molecules pass through. It may even be possible to set the metallic cells up to perform photosynthesis.

It’s amazing what we’re doing with science these days. Apparently the next step is to give these cells DNA-like materials, which may give them the ability to replicate and evolve. This would surely prove that non-corbon lifeforms can exist, and maybe do exist somewhere out in our huge universe.

via DVICE and University of Glasgow

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