Puzzle of life? How the creation of artificial cells will transform our lives


The emergence of life on earth demonstrates that animate matter can arise from inanimate building blocks. Is it possible to artificially reproduce this process in the laboratory? Can individual molecules really be assembled into an artificial living cell? What had long been the subject of philosophical speculation is now being made accessible through experimentation. It is possible to design individual cell components and to enclose them in cell-like compartments. Creating a living “model system” – this vision seems attainable and gives new meaning to the age-old question “What is life?” In her lecture, Kerstin Göpfrich explained how a synthetic model cell can transform both science and our very understanding of life. With artificial cells, avenues are being opened up that are fundamentally revolutionizing the production of active ingredients and materials: Artificial cells could for example act as microrobots, replace diseased cells, or serve as programmable pharmaceutical excipients.

Dialog in the Museum
November 23, 2023
70372 Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Göpfrich
Center for Molecular Biology at Heidelberg University and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research