It is life, but not as we know it. A team of researchers at the University of Glasgow have been playing God, claiming they have come up with the first steps towards inorganic ‘life’.
The moment of divine creation came under the guidance of Professor Lee Cronin, who has developed a method for creating inorganic chemical cells dubbed iCHELLS.
Cronin is aiming to create “self-replicating, evolving inorganic cells” which he says would essentially be “alive”.
While life is generally made up of organic biology including carbon in the form of amino acids, nucleotides and so on, inorganic life is considered to be inanimate.
But Cronin reckons that inorganic chemical compounds can in fact self-replicate and even evolve, a fascinating yet overwhelming prospect. In fact it sounds almost like the start of a number of dystopian blockbusters.
They would mimic conventional cells, creating internal membranes which would control the passage of materials and energy passing through, just as a certain beardy man in the sky allegedly did at the dawn of creation.
Several chemical processes can then be isolated within the same cell, just like inbiological cells.
As the cells can store electricity there are potential uses in electronics, with the team highlighting applications in “medicine, as sensors or to confine chemical reactions” as well.
The overall aim is to replicate complex chemical cells which exhibit life-like properties. The team reckon that this could help understand how life was created, and also bring about a new form of inorganic living technology based on evolutionary theory.
Basically. if single cell microorganisms can be made from organic materials, then the same should be made from inorganic materials.
If Cronin’s work is successful it would open up further possibilities about the existence of non carbon-based life forms.