How life originated from an inanimate set of chemicals is still a mystery. While we may never be certain about precisely which chemicals existed on prebiotic Earth, we can study the biomolecules we have today to give us clues about what happened three billion years ago.
Now, scientists have used a set of modern biomolecules to show that the formation of larger, more complex groupings of molecules may be inherently favored. They found that when components of the molecular machines that exist in living cells today are mixed with membrane material, functional complexes form more often than you’d expect from chance.
As of now, we don’t know how this form of self-organisation takes place. Figuring it out may help us understand life’s origins on Earth and perhaps how it might form on other planets.
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