Life from Scratch

Life from Scratch

Learning to make synthetic cells

By Patrick Barry, 15:58 PM April 15, 2008

Maggots don't arise spontaneously out of dead, rotting meat. Aphids never materialize within drops of morning dew. Aristotle and others who believed in the spontaneous generation of life were dead wrong.

The only time life arose from nonlife, biologists believe, was almost 4 billion years ago, when simple living cells first appeared on Earth. But now, with the help of a microscopic parasite that infects people's genitals, researchers may rehabilitate the core of Aristotle's idea.

Scientists ar...

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