Life Is Complicated, But Now Scientists Can Keep It Simple

Scientists pared away genes to create a radically simple bacterium, a proof of concept for one theory on the origin of life.


Photographer: Sandy Huffaker/Bloomberg

Astronomer Fred Hoyle famously quipped in 1982 that the odds of a simple living thing assembling itself from inanimate chemicals were as slim as the chance that a tornado passing through a junkyard would leave in its wake a Boeing 747.

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