ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0500.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: origin of life; disspative structuring; prebiotic chemistry; abiogenisis; adenine
Online: 25 January 2021 (13:57:05 CET)
I describe the non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the photochemical mechanisms which may have been involved in the dissipative synthesis, proliferation, and evolution of the fundamental molecules at the origin of life from simpler and more common precursor molecules such as HCN, H2O and CO2 under the impressed UVC photon flux of the Archean. The fundamental molecules absorb strongly in this UVC region and exhibit strong coupling between their electronic excited and ground states which endows them with efficient photon disipative capacity (broad wavelength absorption and rapid radiationless dexcitation) suggestive of dissipative structuring. The autocatalytic nature of the synthesized molecules in dissipating the same photochemical potential that directed their synthesis leads to their proliferation. The non-linearity in the photochemical and chemical reaction rates provides numerous stationary states which can be reached by amplification of a molecular concentration fluctuation near a bifurcation, promoting the system into states of generally higher photon disspative efficacy. An example is given of the UV photochemical dissipative structuring, proliferation, and evolution of molecules on route to the nucleobase adenine from the common precursor molecules HCN and H2O occurring within a fatty acid vesicle. The kinetic equations are resolved under different environmental conditions, providing a non-equilibrium thermodynamic analysis of the appearance of an early important molecule for the origin of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0354.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: origin of life; disspative structuring; prebiotic chemistry; abiogenisis; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; thermodynamic dissipation theory
Online: 31 January 2022 (13:13:26 CET)
There is little doubt that life's origin followed from the known physical and chemical laws of Nature. The most general scientific framework incorporating the laws of Nature and applicable to most known processes to good approximation, is that of thermodynamics and its extensions to treat out-of-equilibrium phenomena. The event of the origin of life should therefore also be amenable to such an analysis. In this paper, I describe the non-equilibrium thermodynamic foundations of the origin of life for the non-expert. This ``Thermodynamic Dissipation Theory for the Origin of Life'' is founded on Classical Irreversible Thermodynamic theory developed by Lars Onsager, Ilya Prigogine, and coworkers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0287.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: origin of life; disspative structuring; non-equilibrium thermodynamics; prebiotic chemistry; abiogenisis; adenine; guanine; hypoxanthine; xanthine; purines
Online: 21 June 2022 (05:14:12 CEST)
We have suggested that the abiogenisis of life around the beginning of the Archean may have been an example of microscopic dissipative structuring of UVC pigments (the fundamental molecules of life) under the prevailing surface UV solar spectrum. In a previous article in this series, we have describe the non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the photochemical mechanisms which may have been involved in the dissipative structuring of the purines adenine and hypoxanthine from the common precursor molecules of HCN and water under UVC light. In this article we extend our analysis to include the production of the other two important purines, guanine and xanthine, from these same precursors. The photochemical reactions are presumed to occur within a fatty acid vesicle floating on a hot ocean surface exposed to the prevailing UV light. Reaction-diffusion equations are resolved under different environmental conditions. Significant amounts of adenine (∼10−5 M) and guanine (∼10−6 M) are obtained within only a few months at 80 °C under plausible initial concentrations of HCN and cyanogen (a photochemical product of HCN).