We review lessons learned about evolutionary transitions from a bottom-up construction of minimal life. We use a particular systemic protocell design process as a starting point for exploring two fundamental questions: (i) how may minimal living systems emerge from non-living materials? and (ii) how may minimal living systems support increasingly more evolutionary richness? Under (i), we present what has been accomplished so far and discuss the remaining open challenges and their possible solutions. Under (ii), we present a design principle we have used successfully both for our computational and experimental protocellular investigations, and we conjecture how this design principle can be extended for enhancing the evolutionary potential for a wide range of systems.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘The major synthetic evolutionary transitions’.
One contribution of 13 to a theme issue ‘The major synthetic evolutionary transitions’.
- Accepted May 24, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.