OoL digest — September 28th edition, part two

Part two of this week’s digest, today we have papers in biochemistry & geophysics. In biochemistry, we first have a paper by Akbari that suggests a model of electroneutrality as a mean to elevate the concentrations of organic intermediates in early protocells. The second paper by Kahana examines the experimental evidence that lipid aggregates could have possessed the required configuration to seed life’s origin. The third paper, by Liu, explores prebiotic chemistry, gene sequences, plasticizers and opiates through molecular assembly. In the fourth paper, Matsuo investigates the conditions suitable for concurrent peptide generation and self-assembly. In geophysics, I’ve first included an interesting article from Scientific American that discusses the implications of Gan’s paper, published in January, on fungus-like fossils having contributed to making Earth habitable. The second paper by Gilabert suggests that volcanism did not cause the massive extinction of species in the late Cretaceous. The third paper, by Sánchez-García, examines the use of biomarkers through a multianalytical platform combining lipid-derived biomarkers, metaproteomics and a so-called ‘life-detector chip’. Finally, the fourth paper by Selensky investigates the possibility of deep subsurface biospheres fueled by in situ chemolithoautothophy. Happy reading !


Origin of electroneutrality in living system – Akbari et al. – preprint

Dynamic lipid aptamers: non-polymeric chemical path to early life – Kahana et al. – preprint

Exploring and mapping chemical space with molecular assembly trees – Liu et al. – Science Advances

Proliferating coacervate droplets as the missing link between chemistry and biology in the origins of life – Matsuo et al. – Nature Communications


Fungi Might Have Helped Drag the Planet Out of its ‘Snowball Earth’ Phase – Frazer – Scientific American

Contribution of orbital forcing and Deccan volcanism to global climatic and biotic changes across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary at Zumaia, Spain – Gilabert et al. – preprint

Time-Integrative Multibiomarker Detection in Triassic–Jurassic Rocks from the Atacama Desert: Relevance to the Search for Basic Life Beyond Earth – Sánchez-García et al. – preprint

Stable Carbon Isotope Depletions in Lipid Biomarkers Suggest Subsurface Carbon Fixation in Lava Caves – Selensky et al. – Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences