A flagship focused on the challenge of building a synthetic cell would be key to answer some of the most fundamental questions that current biology, and also chemistry, have in their horizon: what is life; how did it originate, on Earth or elsewhere in the universe; and how we can implement artificial life-like systems with novel properties and functions. By creating a synthetic cell from the most basic biological components, or even from artificial ones, we will acquire a much deeper understanding of life and the (bio)molecular networks that sustain it. Moreover, although it is difficult to anticipate how accomplishing this challenge will impact into the market of real applications, there are plenty of technological possibilities that could emerge from this approach, whcih certainly justifies the establishment of a flagship around this topic.
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