Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Artificial Cells Are Now Able to Mimic Natural Cell Movement

Synthetic cells are used in laboratory settings but don't have all the characteristics of living cells, limiting research. Cell motility was hard to research due to surface enzyme activity, but a new method was discovered that allowed the synthetic cell to actively move. They investigated how ATPase can propel the protocells. ATPase is an enzyme that converts ATP into ADP. In this experiment, the protocells had artificial membranes composed of phosphatidylcholine and the ATPase enzymes were incorporated directly into the membrane. This discovery allows for the first step to be made for other researchers to make artificial cells with enzymatic activity. Research showed that movement for the cells was low for low amounts of ATP but movement also dropped for too much ATP, which was surprising. The researchers concluded that a high ATP concentration would bind to the ATPase and suppress ATP activity and lowering motility. This research allows for new opportunities to understand more about the mechanisms of movements for cells. This will have a huge role on new medical research.

Image result for cell membrane

I feel like we always think that science as come so far and that there isn't much else to discover, but this just shows how much we still don't understand. Just trying to replicate a living cell is so complicated and we're finally one step closer to making them act more like natural cells. It's amazing how new discoveries like this are able to open up even more doors. Hopefully this research will help with new medical breakthroughs in the future.


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  1. Very interesting topic! It is a bit crazy to think about all of the things in the science world that we still do not know. Just this past year NASA produced the first picture of a black hole! I can only imagine where science could be at the end of the next decade, I would love to see more breakthroughs in the medical field for sure.

  2. Very interesting article. It’s pretty amazing just thinking about the future of cloning and copying cells. It’s like steps, we figure out how to perfect the artificial cell to move as a natural, then move on to cloning organs and then eventually we will be able to clone bigger species. Kind of a scary thought when you think about it. Hopefully with that amount of knowledge there will be good use and restrictions.