Mitochondrion with endoplasmic reticulum, Center for Molecular Microscopy
Chemists create 'artificial chemical evolution' for the first time
“[The team from the University of Glasgow's School of Chemistry led by Professor Lee Cronin] created an evolving chemical system using a robotic 'aid' and could be used in the future to 'evolve' new chemicals capable of performing specific tasks.
“A robot monitors and selects for further development droplets of different chemical compounds, mimicking natural selection to produce 'fit' compounds.”
It is an attempt to produce new chemical life forms.
The matter compiler in Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age makes things molecule-by-molecule. It is fed by huge lines of individual atoms. They use it to make things like clothes and cutlery. The process described above is instead used to discover new chemicals combinations. In the world of perfumery, for example, this could be very helpful.
I also can’t help but mention, at the very end of the article, we hear about inorganic-chemical cells “built from molecules of metal and exhibit some of the same abilities as living cells.” Will killer robots smell fear, that’s all I want to know.