ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0022.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: clay; mica; biotite; muscovite; origin of life; abiogenesis; mechanical energy; work; wet-dry cycles
Online: 4 January 2022 (20:36:31 CET)
Intracellular potassium concentrations, [K+], are high in all types of living cells, but the origins of this K+ are unknown. The simplest hypothesis is that life emerged in an environment that was high in K+. One such environment is the spaces between the sheets of the clay mineral, mica. The best mica for life’s origins is the black mica, biotite, because it has a high content of Mg++ and it has iron in various oxidation states. Life also has many of the characteristics of the environment between mica sheets, giving further support for the possibility that mica was the substrate on and within which life emerged.
Subject: Keywords: clay; mica; biotite; muscovite; origin of life; abiogenesis; mechanical energy; work; wet-dry
Online: 5 November 2020 (10:43:44 CET)
This paper presents a hypothesis about the origins of life in a clay mineral, starting with the earliest molecules, continuing through the increasing complexity of the development, in neighboring clay niches, of “Metabolism First,” “RNA World,” and other necessary components of life, to the encapsulation by membranes of the components in the niches, to the interaction and fusion of these membrane-bound protocells, resulting finally in a living cell, capable of reproduction and evolution. Biotite (black mica) in micaceous clay is the proposed site for this origin of life. Mechanical energy of moving biotite sheets provides one endless source of energy. Potassium ions between biotite sheets would be the source of the high intracellular potassium ion concentrations in all living cells.
ESSAY | doi:10.3390/sci2010002
Subject: Keywords: origin of life; origins of life; mechanical energy; mechanochemistry; work; entropic forces; mica; biotite; Muscovite; wet/dry cycles; clay
Online: 9 January 2020 (00:00:00 CET)
Mechanical forces and mechanical energy are prevalent in living cells. This may be because mechanical forces and mechanical energy preceded chemical energy at life’s origins. Mechanical energy is more readily available in non-living systems than the various forms of chemical energy used by living systems. Two possible prebiotic environments that might have provided mechanical energy are hot pools that experience wet/dry cycles and mica sheets as they move, open and shut, as heat pumps or in response to water movements.