The origin of life remains one of the great mysteries that science still faces. One of the approaches to address it is to try building living cells from scratch, an endeavour that has recently seen a boost due to new ways of creating small cell-like membrane bubbles, or vesicles. Additional benefits from this kind of research may materialise in medical applications like drug delivery and imaging.
Read all about it in my feature:
Chemistry & Industry Volume 79, Issue 9, pages 22–25, Sept. 2015 DOI: 10.1002/cind.799_6.x
abstract and first page (Wiley)
In the same issue, on page 49, there's also my review of the book: Junk DNA: a journey through the dark matter of the genome, by Nessa Carey.