Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Did Biology Emerge from Biotite in Micaceous Clay?

Version 1 : Received: 16 September 2020 / Approved: 17 September 2020 / Online: 17 September 2020 (13:01:15 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 4 November 2020 / Approved: 5 November 2020 / Online: 5 November 2020 (10:43:44 CET)

How to cite: Hansma, H.G. Did Biology Emerge from Biotite in Micaceous Clay?. Preprints 2020, 2020090409. Hansma, H.G. Did Biology Emerge from Biotite in Micaceous Clay?. Preprints 2020, 2020090409.


An origin of life between the sheets of micaceous clay is proposed to involve the following steps: 1) evolution of metabolic cycles and nucleic acid replication, in separate niches in biotite mica; 2) evolution of protein synthesis on ribosomes formed by liquid-in-liquid phase separation; 3) repeated encapsulation by membranes of molecules required for the metabolic cycles, replication, and protein synthesis; 4) interactions and fusion of the these membranes containing enclosed molecules; resulting eventually in 5) an occasional living cell, containing everything necessary for life. The spaces between mica sheets have many strengths as a site for life’s origins: mechanochemistry and wet-dry cycles as energy sources, an 0.5-nm anionic crystal lattice with potassium counterions (K+), hydrogen-bonding, enclosure, and more. Mica pieces in micaceous clay are large enough to support mechanochemistry from moving mica sheets. Biotite mica is an iron-rich mica capable of redox reactions, where the stages of life’s origins could have occurred, in micaceous clay.


clay; mica; biotite; muscovite; origin of life; origins of life; mechanical energy; work; wet-dry cycles


Biology and Life Sciences, Life Sciences

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