Life as We Don't Know It

  title={Life as We Don't Know It},
  author={G{\"u}nter W{\"a}chtersh{\"a}user},
  pages={1307 - 1308}
There are two main groups of theories for the origin of life on Earth, the prebiotic broth theories and the hydrothermal theories, exemplified by the iron-sulfur world theory. In his Perspective, WA¤chtershA¤user discusses the report by Cody et al., which provides key support for the latter proposal. 
Some Like It Hot, But Not the First Biomolecules
In their Perspective, Bada and Lazcano argue that the two theories of prebiotic soup theory are not mutually exclusive and that cool temperatures would have been required in either case for modern life to evolve.
Fougerite: the not so simple progenitor of the first cells
An extended version of the AHV scenario is put forward which enhances the conformity between extant life and its earliest progenitor by extensively making use of fougerite's mechanistic and catalytic particularities.
The possible roles of water in the prebiotic chemical evolution of DNA.
  • Shuxun Cui
  • Biology
    Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP
  • 2010
Following the clues provided by recent single-molecule studies on DNA, the possible roles of water in the prebiotic chemical evolution are elucidated to elucidate the uniformity of biochemistry for all terrestrial life.
Photo-production of lactate from glyoxylate: how minerals can facilitate energy storage in a prebiotic world.
The reaction of glyoxylate with carbon dioxide to produce lactate is promoted when zinc sulfide is irradiated by ultraviolet light. These results, representing a model for the action of colloidal
The Possible Roles of Water in the Prebiotic Chemical Evolution of DNA: An Approach by Single Molecule Studies
Following the clues provided by recent single-molecule studies on DNA, the possible roles of water in the prebiotic chemical evolution are elucidated to elucidate the uniformity of biochemistry for all terrestrial life.
Abiotic Photosynthesis: From Prebiotic Chemistry to Metabolism
A shallow-water hydrothermal vent system is presented as a model environment where the first microorganisms on Earth used the suggested non-enzymatic chemical reactions as a pioneer mechanism for carbon dioxide fixation and energy storage that resulted in prebiotic metabolism.
From geochemistry and biochemistry to prebiotic evolution...we necessarily enter into Gánti's fluid automata.
The geochemical chemolithoautotrophic opening of the stage should be seen, at most, as the initial metabolism that enabled organic compounds to follow the road where a chemical fluid machinery was thus able to undertake the more "sublime" course of organic biological evolution.
α-Hydroxy and α-Amino Acids Under Possible Hadean, Volcanic Origin-of-Life Conditions
To test the theory of a chemoautotrophic origin of life in a volcanic, hydrothermal setting, we explored mechanisms for the buildup of bio-organic compounds by carbon fixation on catalytic transition
Is Boron a Prebiotic Element? A Mini-review of the Essentiality of Boron for the Appearance of Life on Earth
  • R. Scorei
  • Biology
    Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
  • 2012
The complexation of boric acid and borates with organic cis-diols remains the most probable chemical mechanism for the role of this element in the evolution of the living world.


Evolution of the first metabolic cycles.
  • G. Wächtershäuser
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1990
It is a consequence of this hypothesis that the postulated cycle cannot exist as a single isolated cycle but must be a member of a network of concatenated homologous cycles, from which all anabolic pathways appear to have sprung.
Peptides by activation of amino acids with CO on (Ni,Fe)S surfaces: implications for the origin of life.
These results demonstrate that amino acids can be activated under geochemically relevant conditions and support a thermophilic origin of life and an early appearance of peptides in the evolution of a primordial metabolism.
Activated acetic acid by carbon fixation on (Fe,Ni)S under primordial conditions.
In experiments modeling the reactions of the reductive acetyl-coenzyme A pathway at hydrothermal temperatures, it was found that an aqueous slurry of coprecipitated NiS and FeS converted CO and CH3SH
Primordial carbonylated iron-sulfur compounds and the synthesis of pyruvate.
Experiments exploring the potential catalytic role of iron sulfide at 250 degrees C and elevated pressures (50, 100, and 200 megapascals) revealed a facile, pressure-enhanced synthesis of
Groundworks for an evolutionary biochemistry: the iron-sulphur world.