The volume editors, David W. Deamer and Gail R. Fleischaker, are, respectively, experimentalist and theorist active in the origins-of-life field. Their commentary explores the theoretical issues underlying the broader topics and evaluates the historical impact of each paper.
The book covers all major scientific approaches to creating minimal life, both in the laboratory and in simulation. It emphasizes the bottom-up view of physicists, chemists, and material scientists but also includes the molecular biologists top-down approach and the origin-of-ljfe perspective. Ihe capacity to engineer living technology could have a enormous socio-economic impact and could bring both good and ill. Protocells promises to be the essential reference for research on bottom-up assembly of life and living technology for years to come.