Cronin Group take robotic steps towards “Artificial Chemical Evolution”
In a breakthrough published in Nature Communications, Prof Cronin and his group have described the robotically-facilitated evolution of oil droplets. The group used a custom built robot based on a RepRap 3D printer which generates the droplets, measures their fitness against a fitness function, and then uses a genetic algorithm to generate a new population. By demonstrating that these could be viable “chemical protocell models” as they can be evolved yet are based upon simple chemical ingredients, Prof Cronin hopes that we can start to answer some important questions about the origin of life.
Open Access paper in Nature Communicatsions
News item on University of Glasgow website
Article in Wired
Article at Phys.org
Article in Nature Chemistry News and Views