One of the Grandest Challenges in Science today is the creation of life from completely man-made components. A consortium of 60 chemists from 22 different European, led by University of Groningen chemist prof. Sijbren Otto, countries has teamed up to face this challenge in what is probably the largest concerted effort world-wide.
Researchers from many different backgrounds are going to collaborate to make a synthetic system that captures the various aspects of life, such as its ability to reproduce, its compartmentalized nature (all life forms we know are surrounded by some form of membrane) its far-from-equilibrium character (all life forms we know need energy to maintain themselves).
The consortium is funded through COST (Action CM1304), which is the oldest scheme for promoting joined research projects in Europe. The Action is headed by Prof. Sijbren Otto from the Stratingh Institute and the Centre for Systems Chemistry of the University of Groningen. More information can be found on the COST website.
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