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Dass A. V., Hickman-Lewis K., Brack A., Kee T. P. and Westall F.

Stochastic Prebiotic Chemistry within Realistic Geological Systems

ChemistrySelect (2016) 1 (15) 4906-4926 - doi : 10.1002/slct.201600829

par Frapart - publié le

Abstract :

This review introduces its readers to a ‘stochastic approach’ to origins of life research, from the viewpoints of both prebiotic chemistry and geology. The idea of a “primordial soup” has been subject to extensive criticism from thermodynamic, biochemical and geochemical perspectives, yet recent advancements have made clearer the plausibility of this theory. Herein, we review the theoretical and experimental approaches which have previously been explored, among these modelling, laboratory-confined and geologically motivated experimentation. Of these, we consider organo-mineral interactions, uniting aspects of prebiotic chemistry and geology, to be an especially promising way forward. However, we aim here to advance current approaches by advocating a methodology involving chemical systems and their stochastic reactivity on heterogeneous geological surfaces. This models the origins of life as a continuity of chemical reactions in an analogue to the early Earth (Hadean) environment.