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Is it life now?

The wires - including, um, linkurl:Wired;http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/biologists-on-t.html - are abuzz this week with talk of research by Jack Szostak, a Harvard researcher who is trying to create synthetic life. The attention stems from results he presented last week at an Origin of Life conference, as well as data he's published recently. Loyal readers will recall that linkurl:we wrote about;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/1/1/30/1/ Szostak's work nearly two years ago,

Alison McCook
The wires - including, um, linkurl:Wired;http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/biologists-on-t.html - are abuzz this week with talk of research by Jack Szostak, a Harvard researcher who is trying to create synthetic life. The attention stems from results he presented last week at an Origin of Life conference, as well as data he's published recently. Loyal readers will recall that linkurl:we wrote about;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/1/1/30/1/ Szostak's work nearly two years ago, then linkurl:profiled him;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53763/ in November of last year. Our coverage raised the same questions: Svostak aims to create incredibly simple forms of life that follow the basic principles of the cell, but when all is said and done, can we call these simple structures "life"?

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