Can we build a minimal form of life? Would it be possible to construct a synthetic cell from basic molecular components, a man-made object that can sustain itself by consuming energy and that can reproduce similar offspring? Watch the 24 June 2015 symposium with Jack Szostak's Academy Lecture entitled The origins of cellular life, and three short lectures by leading Dutch scientists.
Engineering a living cell from basic components is one of the greatest challenges in the life sciences today. While the aim itself is daunting, new ideas are now emerging about how to address these questions using minimal approaches from synthetic biology.