A new model for the origin of life: Coupled phases and combinatorial selection in fluctuating hydrothermal pools

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Tuesday, January 20 2015 - 12:00 pm, PST
Bruce Damer and Dave Deamer
UC Santa Cruz


Abstract: Hydrothermal fields on the prebiotic Earth are candidate environments for biogenesis. We propose a model in which molecular systems driven by cycles of hydration and dehydration in such sites undergo chemical evolution and selection in a dehydrated surface phase followed by encapsulation and combinatorial selection in a hydrated phase. This model is partly supported by recent science, and lies partly in the realm of speculation including a hypothesized pathway for the parallel evolution of the functional machinery of life. Complex models like this present challenges for science in the 21st century and we will describe a new technology to enable the simulation of such models.

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