Re: Life in the Lab -- Fox and the Nobel Prize
Wed, 5 May 1999 23:13:41 EDT

In a message dated 5/5/99 9:36:21 AM Mountain Daylight Time, writes:

> Perhaps it would be helpful if one could define "alive" ?

Fox used the following characteristics to define life: cellularity,
metabolism, reproduction, and response to external stimuli. Since the
protocells he synthesized in the lab possess all these characteristics, they
are alive. Since, despite his admission that he is no expert on cellular
biology, Moorad is so adamant that Fox's protocells are not alive, I was
trying to ascertain whether he had any evidence they they really did not
possess one or more of these characteristics, or if he knew of another
characteristic that life must have but which protocells did not possess.
Instead he started talking about death. I really don't see how that is
supposed to disqualify protocells from being alive.

Kevin L. O'Brien