OoL digest — December 7th edition

Seven new articles this week. In astrobiology, we have a preprint on phosphine production on Venus (Bains), a review of key observations and outstanding questions on Mars exploration (Changela) and a report of deposits suggesting fleeting water on Mars (Koeppel). In biochemistry, Closs presents a class of organocatalysts potentially capable of forming an evolutionary system, Ianeselli discusses how gas bubbles in rock pores could have been a nursery for life on early Earth and Piedrafita analyzes how cysteine and iron could have facilitated the first evolving metabolic networks. Finally, in planetary sciences Wade investigates planetary how iron can influence planetary habitability and initiation of biochemistry from geochemistry. Happy reading!


Constraints on the production of phosphine by Venusian volcanoes – Bains et al. – preprint

Mars: new insights and unresolved questions – Changela et al. – International Journal of Astrobiology

A fragile record of fleeting water on Mars – Koeppel et al. – Geology


Dynamic Exchange of Substituents in a Prebiotic Organocatalyst: Initial Steps towards an Evolutionary System – Closs et al. – Angewandte Chemie International Edition

Non-equilibrium conditions inside rock pores drive fission, maintenance and selection of coacervate protocells – Ianeselli et al. – Nature Chemistry

Cysteine and iron accelerate the formation of ribose-5-phosphate, providing insights into the evolutionary origins of the metabolic network structure – Piedrafita et al. – PLOS Biology

Planetary Science

Temporal variation of planetary iron as a driver of evolution – Wade et al. – PNAS

Alexandre Champagne‑Ruel
Alexandre Champagne‑Ruel
PhD Candidate - Astrophysics

My research interests include statistical physics, complex systems and major evolutionary transitions.