Can replicate itself?

Self-replicating organisms are a subject of endless fascination and intrigue, challenging our perception of life and its origins. From the tiniest bacterium that splits every 20 minutes to the most complex virus that hijacks host cells, these microscopic marvels defy logic (Subheading 1).

Bacteria, the simplest form of self-replicating life, reproduce through a process called binary fission. During this process, a single bacterium elongates, forming two identical organisms separated by a septum. Each new cell contains an exact copy of the parent’s genetic material, DNA, ensuring continuity and consistency (Figure 1).

Viruses, on the other hand, are not living entities but rather complex organic structures made up of protein and nucleic acid. They can only replicate inside a living cell by hijacking its machinery to produce more virus particles (Subheading 2). This symbiotic relationship between viruses and their host cells is essential for their survival.

Scientific research provides insights into the mechanisms of self-replication, such as DNA replication and cell division. However, understanding how these processes defy thermodynamic laws and their implications for synthetic biology remains an open question (Subheading 3). For instance, the origin of information necessary for replication or the energy required to build complex structures raises profound questions about life’s origins and its relationship with physics.

Moreover, ethical dilemmas arise as we explore self-replication: should we create synthetic life?

What rights and responsibilities would it possess?

As Richard Dawkins famously said, "Life doesn’t need an intelligent designer" (Quote). But does creating artificial life cross the boundary between science and God’s domain?

Join us on this captivating journey, exploring nature’s infinite potential for growth, raising ethical questions about science and the future.


  1. How does bacteria reproduce? – Bacteria reproduce through binary fission, splitting into two identical organisms.
  2. What is a virus? – A virus is a non-living entity that can replicate only inside a living cell.
  3. Can self-replicating machines be created? – While robots have shown progress in self-replication, they don’t truly replicate like organisms as they lack the ability to create their own energy or construct new components from raw materials.

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