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Origin of the First Cells on Earth: A Possible Scenario

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Abstract:

A fundamental challenge in science is to understand the assembly of the first macromolecules necessary for cellular life and the order in which this occurred. The assembly events that led to the first minimal cell capable of growth and division are a highly debatable subject. Possibly, the formation of a primitive membrane or microsphere in a hydrophobic medium provided a suitable structure where subsequent biochemical self-replication and eventually enzyme catalysis, integrated biochemical pathways, and assembly of nucleic acids occurred. In this article, I examine a possible sequence of assembly for the first primitive cell(s) on the Earth.

Keywords: bacteria; cells; enzymes; evolution; hydrophobic medium (HM); order; origin of life; proteins; sequence

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01490450303874

Affiliations: Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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