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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Non-Life to Life

Non-Life to Life

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, November 10, 2016/Categories: natural history, sustainability, art and design, environment

                                Martin Hanczyc (credit: Hanczyc lab)

How did life initiate is a key question for biology, evolution, and philosophy. How did it get going on Earth? Did life evolve in situ or arrive on a meteorite from another space (panspermia)? What was the catalyst that turned non-living material into something living? Did it happen fast or slowly? Such origin-of-life studies have been underway for some time all trying to create conditions in the laboratory, using some simple chemicals, to help resolve these questions.

Recent results from labs like Martin Hanczyc's in Italy are fascinating. In the process of developing model systems to test, "origin studies" provide suggestions on how life might also have begun on other planets and where are the best places to look.



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