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Origin of life

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Research into the origin of life is a limited field of research despite its profound impact on biology and human understanding of our world. Progress in this field is slow and sporadic, but it still draws the attention of many.

A few facts give insight into the conditions in which life may have emerged, but the mechanisms by which non-life became life are elusive.

  1. Plausible pre-biotic conditions result in the creation of the basic small molecules of life. This was demonstrated by Stanley Miller
  2. Phospholipids spontaneously form lipid bilayers, the basic structure of a cell membrane.
  3. Procedures for producing random RNA molecules can produce "ribozymes", which are able to produce more of themselves under very specific conditions.

Some hypotheses about the origin of life:

  1. RNA world hypothesis
  2. Autocatalytic set
  3. Alexander Oparin[?]'s primoridal soup
  4. Zeolites: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/98/980331.origin.of.life.shtml

Relevant fields

  1. Astrobiology is a field that may shed light on the nature of life in general, instead of just life as we know it (on Earth), and may give clues as to how life orignates. http://www.accessexcellence.org/bioforum/bf02/awramik/bf02a1
  2. Complexity theory

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