May 23, 2024

Origin of life: Proteins probably resulted from dehydration

The origin of life on Earth contains a remarkable paradox: without water there is no life—but most biomolecules form poorly or not at all in water. However, before the first true cell is formed, it must have formed spontaneously. Aridity and volcanic minerality can resolve the discrepancy, report Hayley Boynzan and John Yen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In their publication in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres. They describe how amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, spontaneously combine to form long chains thanks to these two factors.