Building cell walls

Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.

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charles brough
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Building cell walls

Post by charles brough » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:30 pm

I put many science-posts in religious and Creationist forums and like to be sure of what I write! Here are some of the points I have been making on the life and its origin:

There are different forms of life and "semi-life" and no real "spark of life" that demarkates the separation between the one and the other.

It was once thought that organic matter could never be built in the lab, but it was done and people forget they once thought it was impossible.

Biologists have already been able to build cell walls and that it is only a matter of time before reproducing cells will be able to be manufactured from non cell materials.

Are the above statements accurate?
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Post by Darby » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:32 pm

A cell wall isn't really what you mean, it is a membrane, and even that's a trivial accomplishment in the move toward synthesizing life. Making lipid bilayer bubbles is simple.

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dr. dugmore
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Location: australia mate!!!!! bloody oath!! >lol<

Post by dr. dugmore » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:18 am

sorry, but were a long way from createing the perfect cell wall,
as Darby mentioned can create a phospholipid bi-layer, but that is only one aspect of the cell wall, and it cannot replicate the properties of the living cell wall.
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.
Charles Darwin

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Inland Taipan
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Post by MrMistery » Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:22 pm

Ok, here are the basics.

All cells, from bacteria to human cells are surrounded by a cell membrane. Plant, eubacteria and fungi cells also have a rigid cell wall around the cell membrane.

Synthesising a cell wall(from what i know) has not been done yet, because cell walls have a complex 3D structure, and a very complex chemical composition. Plus, contrary to old-school biology believes, the cell wall is a very dinamic structure, with many things added to it across a cell's life.

Now, a plasma membrane or cellular membrane is made out of two things: lipids and proteins. If you put phospholipids(the major kind of lipid in the plasma membrane) in water, they instantaneously form a lipid bilayer. But that is not a plasma membrane. Not by far. The key elements of a plasma membrane are the proteins. Proteins give the membrane it's specific functions. Each type of cell has different proteins, because each type of cell has it's own unique functions. A red blood cell, for example, has over 100 different types of plasma membrane proteins, with thousants to hundreds of thousants of each type.

So, yeah, we are really far from creating a plasma membrane or a real cell wall, and even farther from creating anything resembling a living cell.
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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