[ExI] Chemical Origins of Life (was Re: Panbiogenesis)

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Feb 3 11:43:01 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM, Kelly Anderson  wrote:
> Stating this more carefully... The largest structure we have
> synthesized in the laboratory at this point is a very primitive
> cell-type wall built of lipids. No doubt, there are tens of millions
> of atoms that go into these structures, but they are extremely simple
> compared to a bacteria, and by no means do they approach reproducing
> life forms. They don't even approximate useful cell walls, as there
> are no holes... and even bacteria need to eat and poo.
> We have no mechanism yet to describe the production of proteins
> containing more than a paultry number of amino acids. Amino acids
> don't spontaneously form polymers without a lot of tricky assistance.
> I would be pretty darn impressed if we could show a plausible scenario
> for the spontaneous emergence of just the citric acid cycle.
> In conclusion, it is ridiculous to expect to observe abiogenesis
> directly in the lab. It is many trillions of times more likely that a
> chicken would spontaneously give birth to a dinosaur without
> assistance from Jack Horner!
> Nevertheless, there is enough of a lead to continue to investigate how
> abiogenesis could have occurred terrestrially. Even if you buy into
> panbiogenesis, life had to arise somewhere first, or "God Did It"(TM).
> The most interesting concept I've run into during these studies is
> emergence. Totally fascinating stuff that.

Chemists Synthesize Artificial Cell Membrane
ScienceDaily (Jan. 25, 2012)


Chemists have taken an important step in making artificial life forms
from scratch. Using a novel chemical reaction, they have created
self-assembling cell membranes, the structural envelopes that contain
and support the reactions required for life.
The real value of this discovery might reside in its simplicity. From
commercially available precursors, the scientists needed just one
preparatory step to create each starting lipid chain.


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