At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter. If there is not enough time to answer them all on the spot, some of the other unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Professor Timothy Kennedy’s lecture “Biomimicry and the synthetic synapse” (March 25, 2015).
Q: How can the cell respond to an unnatural enantiomer of an amino acid? Wouldn’t it not be “programmed’ to deal with an non-naturally occurring molecule? PLL (Polylysine ligament cells) vs PDL (Periodontal ligament cells).