REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0231.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: protolife; protocells; abiogenesis; life origin; origin of life; protometabolism; protocellular metabolomics
Online: 5 December 2023 (09:05:03 CET)
The latest life-origin literature is reviewed, along with grouping and classification of the most enduring models of abiogenesis. New trends are identified in origin-of-life thought. Astrobiology continues to deal mostly with inorganic and very elementary organic reactions in extreme environments. Nonequilibrium thermodynamics has received a great deal of attention. Attempts have been made to relate Bejan’s Constructal Law to life and abiogenesis. RNA World preclusions only seem to have grown, while ribozyme/peptide models have expanded. The biosemiotic movement and code biology is gaining influence in refining a more complete description of life. Prof James Tour at Rice University in a fourteen-lecture series lists a number of synthetic biochemical hurtles remaining that still need to be overcome. But the need for some sort of informational recipe, instruction, steering and control now seems to be the most prominent area of focus and concern. Even a protometabolism needed active selection and controls rather than mere constraints or law. The latest literature still does not elucidate how protometabolism was orchestrated in an inanimate, pre-evolutionary environment.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Insecta; Chemosensory proteins; Odorant binding proteins; Peptide mutation; Cell evolution; Abiogenesis
Online: 30 January 2020 (03:02:21 CET)
We remind about the dogma initially established with the nucleic acid double helix, i.e. the DNA structure as the primary source of life. However, we bring into the discussion those additional processes that were crucial to enable life and cell evolution. Studying chemosensory proteins (CSPs) and odor binding proteins (OBPs) of insects, we have found a high level of pinpoint mutations on the RNA and peptide sequences. Many of these mutations are found to be tissue-specific and induce subtle changes in the protein structure, leading to a new theory of cell multifunction and life evolution. Here, attention is given to RNA and peptide mutations in small soluble protein families known for carrying lipids and fatty acids as fuel for moth cells. A new phylogenetic analysis of mutations is presented and provides even more support to the pioneer work, i.e. the finding that mutations in binding proteins have spread through moths and various groups of insects. Then, focus is given to specific mechanisms of mutations that are not random, change α-helical profilings and bring new functions at the protein level. In conclusion, RNA and peptide mutations are not seen as representative of a multitude of diseases, but rather as an alternative way by which protocells developed to acquire multifunction and totipotency. This provides a basis for the theory of RNA/peptide mutations for birth and evolution of life on earth’s crust proposed here.
Subject: Engineering, Mining And Mineral Processing 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0022.v1
Subject: Biology And 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0415.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Hematology Keywords: spacetime theorems; naturalism; abiogenesis; panspermia; process structuralism; Cambrian explosion; amino acids; homochirality; hand of God dilemma
Online: 23 March 2023 (13:40:22 CET)
The more than thirty spacetime theorems developed over the past five decades establish that the universe and its spacetime dimensions have emerged from a cause/Causal Agent beyond the cosmos. Thus, to infer that this cause/Causal Agent may have intervened in the origin and history of Earth and Earth’s life resides well within the bounds of reason. Meanwhile, proponents of each of the three prevailing naturalistic models for the origin and history of Earth’s life have marshalled arguments and evidence that effectively undermine and refute the other two models. A biblical perspective and approach to Earth’s life can help resolve this impasse. While a superficial and pervasive appeal to divine intervention thwarts scientific advance, so does a rigid adherence to naturalism. A productive way forward is to identify which models (or parts of models), whether naturalistic, theistic, or a combination, most effectively narrow, rather than widen, knowledge gaps, minimize anomalies, offer the most comprehensive and detailed explanation of the data, and prove most successful in predicting scientific discoveries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0011.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Organic Chemistry Keywords: ultraviolet shield; protocell; fatty acid vesicles; origin of life; dissipative structuring; prebiotic chemistry; abiogenesis; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; thermodynamic dissipation theory; Mie scattering.
Online: 3 January 2023 (07:34:19 CET)
Theories on life’s origin generally acknowledge the advantage of a semi-permeable vesicle (protocell) for enhancing the chemical reaction-diffusion processes involved in abiogenesis. However, more and more evidence indicates that the origin of life concerned the photo-chemical dissipative structuring of the fundamental molecules under UV-C light. In this paper, we analyze the Mie UV scattering properties of such a vesicle made from long chain fatty acids. We find that the vesicle could have provided early life with a shield from the faint, but dangerous, hard UV-C ionizing light (180-210 nm) that probably bathed Earth’s surface from before the origin of life and until perhaps 1,500 million years after, until the formation of a protective ozone layer as a result of the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis.