Protocell Circus

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Protocell Circus (2010), produced by Dr. Rachel Armstrong and Michael Simon Toon, is the first film to show the recognizable lifelike behavior of laboratory-created protocells.[1][2][3]

Armstrong synthesized and filmed the protocells of Protocell Circus at the laboratory of Bartlett School of Architecture, University College of London.[4] Her research incorporates protocells in the development of self-repairing 'living' architecture.[5] Armstrong and Dr. Martin Hanczyc of the University of Southern Denmark developed the Bütschli dynamic droplet system used to synthesize the oil-based cells shown in the film.[6][7][8] Although they contain no genetic material, these protocells absorb fuel and react to their environment as well as each other, which among other factors contribute to the theory that this "model could be considered as a type of primitive life that could have been possible on the early Earth."[9]

Toon edited, sound designed, and post-produced Armstrong's raw footage, emphasizing moments of seemingly lifelike motion and interaction among the reagents.[10][11] He also wrote subtitles for the cells' interactions using simple anthropomorphic statements such as "I'm afraid," "I love you," and "I want to escape." The combination of images and subtitles have been variously interpreted, both as a reflection of the human need to see similarities to ourselves in even proto-biological systems, and the converse suggestion that human behavior is actually a complex reflection of the behavior of primordial chemistry.[12][13][14]

Featured exhibitions[edit]

  • Future Human season (2010) British Film Institute, BFI Southbank, London[15]
  • Digital Art@Google NYC (2010) Chelsea Art Museum of Manhattan, New York City[16]
  • Synth-ethic: Art and Synthetic Biology Exhibition (2011) Natural History Museum of Vienna, Austria [17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Simon Toon. "Protocell Circus." Video. YouTube. Uploaded 1-8-11. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dFagK5Lshlg&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DdFagK5Lshlg
  2. ^ "Rachel Armstrong: Applied scientist, innovator." Speakers, Ted.com. (c) TED Conferencing LLC. Accessed 7-31-13. http://www.ted.com/speakers/rachel_armstrong.html
  3. ^ "Living Chemistry & A "Natural History" of Protocells." © Synth-ethic: Art and Synthetic Biology Exhibition 2013. 14.05 - 26.06.2011 in the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria. Produced by Biofaction KG. Added 20-4-2011 21:09. http://www.biofaction.com/synth-ethic/?p=61
  4. ^ http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dFagK5Lshlg&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DdFagK5Lshlg
  5. ^ "A Trip To The Living City Of The Future." Editor Morgan Clendaniel. Co.Exist. Updated 2-7-12. Accessed 8-4-13. http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679275/a-trip-to-the-living-city-of-the-future
  6. ^ Armstrong R, Hanczyc MM. "Bütschli Dynamic Droplet System." Artificial Life. Vol. Early Access: 1-16 (Volume publication date: 0) DOI: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00111. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/ARTL_a_00111
  7. ^ Wagget, Rebeccah. "Understanding Abiogenesis - moving from polymers to protocells." Worksheet. Department of Biology. University of Tampa. Accessed 8-4-13. http://waggett.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/9/5/12952668/sm2_-_origin_of_life_from_polymer_to_protocell_-_student_version.docx
  8. ^ "Martin Hanczyc:The Thin Line Between Life And Not Life." TED Talk. Filmed May 2011. Posted Nov 2011. TEDSalon London Spring 2011. (C) TED Conferences, LLC. Accessed 8-4-13. http://www.ted.com/talks/martin_hanczyc_the_line_between_life_and_not_life.html
  9. ^ Marchant, Jo, quoting Hanczyc, Martin. "Oil droplets mimic early life." Nature. Nature.com. Published 2-23-2011. (C)2013 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. Accessed 8-4-13.http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110223/full/news.2011.118.html
  10. ^ Toon, Michael Simon. "Curriculum Vitae." MichaelSimonToon.com. Accessed 8-4-13. http://michaelsimontoon.com/
  11. ^ "Protocell Video by Michael Simon Toon." proto-futures: all things related protocell technology. Updated 10-27-2012. http://weheartprotocells.tumblr.com/post/34408108701/protovideo
  12. ^ Schmidt, Marcus. "Production of synthetic biology in science, media, film and art." Life Workshop. Presentations of the meeting of the German Ethics Council 2011. Berlin. (C) 2013 German Ethics Council. Page 36.https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mpg.de%2F7423611%2Fwerkstatt_leben_tagungsdokumentation.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.ruclip.com/video/dFagK5Lshlg/protocell-circus.html
  14. ^ "Protocell Circus." Repost and discussion. RUclip.com. (C)RUclip.com. Accessed 8-4-13. http://www.ruclip.com/video/dFagK5Lshlg/protocell-circus.html
  15. ^ "Future Sex Panel Discussion." Future Human season. British Film Institute. BFI Southbank, London, UK. (C) 2009-2012 British Film Institute. http://www.bfi.org.uk/live/video/407
  16. ^ "Digital Art@Google: We Write This To You From The Distant Future." August 20-October 22, 2010. TheProjectRoom.org. http://theprojectroom.org/digitalartatgoogle2
  17. ^ "Living Chemistry & A "Natural History" of Protocells." © Synth-ethic: Art and Synthetic Biology Exhibition 2013. 14.05 - 26.06.2011 in the Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria. Produced by Biofaction KG. Added 20-4-2011 21:09. http://www.biofaction.com/synth-ethic/?p=61