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The Spark of Life

*A reaction paper on the BBCFour Documentary, "The Cell - The Spark of Life"

When we watched the documentary “The Cell – The Spark of Life” presented by Dr. Adam Rutherford, it gave me so much interest in knowing how life started. It tackled the extraordinary story of the secrets of the cell, the fundamental building blocks of all living things. It gave the idea that the knowledge about cells brought us to one of the most defining moments in history.

Seeing how life sprung from a primordial cell was very essential to unlocking the secrets of life. I felt very interested because I really wanted to know more about the origin of life; and this documentary gave me a visual on how it might look like. My mind was filled with curiosity when scientists attempt to repeat what only happened four billion years, the creation of man-made cells – the second genesis.

It was such awe that scientists came up to that idea. At first, I found it ridiculous because creating a new life form is impossible. As the documentary progressed, Dr. Rutherford tackled the study and experiments of different scientists. It gave me a lot of ideas and sides about how cells came to life. The moment that shocked me the most was the experiment of Miller, where he recreated the conditions of the early Earth and produce life from it; and he found amino acids – the building blocks of proteins, life.

I also found gene splicing and proteins very interesting. I never realized that you can get a gene from a green-glowing jellyfish and attach it to yeast cells; the results were amazing because it was really emitting green light. The part I got interested in was when Prof. Church and Dr. Rutherford created a synthetic ribosome – and as what Adam said, “This is ground-breaking stuff!”

Having the ability to create a new life form could change the way we view life. It will be “kick-starting the next new scientific revolution”. This knowledge about cells could affect and/or improve our lives, like the ones said in the documentary: from fuel, food, to medicine. It will be the breath-taking event that could transform our knowledge on how we view life itself – and I look forward to that day.

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