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Protocell Research and Its Implications


If and when protocells exist, they will exhibit three requisites for life: regeneration, replication, and evolution. Based on a recent collection of articles, this essay examines two major questions: (1) should research on development of protocells continue, and (2) what are the implications of this research for our understanding of "life."On the first question, I agree with contributors that the research should continue if there are adequate and ongoing safeguards against its misuse. On the second, I believe that creation of protocells is highly likely to escalate, rather than settle, controversies about the meaning and value of life, especially human life.

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