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Minimal life: Engineering the simplest life

On the first day’s afternoon at the NSF workshop on “minimal life”, discussants took an engineering approach to understanding the simplest forms of life. Here, engineers are sort of the “cheaters” of the group — unlike the other scientists, they get to understand the minimum required for life by looking at things that are simpler than what naturally occur in nature.  Read more

Minimal Life: Nature’s smallest life

This week at the National Science Foundation headquarters in Arlingon, Virginia, a small group of researchers got together for a workshop about “minimality” in biology. Participants considered the teeniest living cells, the shortest genomes, the simplest engineered systems — basically asking, how low can you go and still have “life”?  Read more