DNA Origami: building synthetic cells
Biophysical Enginnering of life group leader
Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg (Germany)
Please explain your research in simple words
The emergence of life on earth proves that living matter can emerge from inanimate building blocks. But is it possible to replicate this process in the lab? Can individual molecules be assembled into a synthetic cell? With DNA origami, the nanoscale art of folding DNA, we design cellular components. We subsequently assemble these and other molecular building blocks inside cell-like compartments. Piece by piece, a synthetic cell becomes a reality, which could also take on important tasks in the living organism.
Sunday - Who I am, what scientists do on Sundays
Monday- Building a synthetic cell
Tuesday - Starting a group, research in Germany
Wednesday - What's going on in the lab: DNA origami
Thursday - The challenges
Friday - Communicating science as a scientist
Saturday - How to pick the right lab
What can the followers expect in your curation week?
How did you end up in your current research field?
I am just curious to understand what life actually is and how it could be.
Living materials are maybe the most intreaguing materials you can find. Life works based on nanomachines.
How and where does your research fall in the domain of materials/nano science?
Which research project are you most proud of and could you explain it in simple words in the section we call #InOtherwords?
We achieved the division of synthetic cells according to simple physical principles.
New course: From soft matter to synthetic biology, teaching high-school students: Ring-a-Scientist
If you teach, which are the courses would you like to mention?
If you had 3 wishes to improve your research experience, what would you ask for (not promising anything here!)?
1) The possibility to comment published research papers
2) Open Science: publish protocols etc.
3) A big push for an honest feedback culture
Moving into my own labs and offices!
What are you most looking forward to in the next 3 months?
Which challenges/questions is the nano/materials science field facing at the moment?
Grant challenge I am fascinated by: Create a system capable of self-replication and evolution