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Abiogenesis is the study of how life originated on Earth. It is a complex and mysterious subject, and scientists have proposed many different theories to try to understand how life first emerged.

Presented here is a conceptual reimagining of the "lipid world" theory which postulates that life originated from lipids forming membranes which would then envelop matter and nutrients to form protocells. Biological cells as we now know them can be thought of us membranes within membranes.

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Primordial Foam

One of the main theories is the "primordial soup" theory, which suggests that life began in a hot, swirling soup of chemicals and energy. Another theory, presented here, is the "lipid world" theory, which proposes that life began as simple molecules called lipids, which formed into protective bilayers in the oceans.

These bilayers would have acted like tiny bubbles or bags, enclosing and protecting the chemical reactions that would eventually give rise to life.

“These bodies may expand by insertion of additional lipids, and may spontaneously split into two offspring of similar size and composition. The main idea is that the molecular composition of the lipid bodies is a preliminary to information storage, and that evolution led to the appearance of polymers like RNA that store information." (Source: Wikipedia)




aBiogenesis #1 - Limited Edition Print

Protocell formation

Over time, these simple lipids may have evolved into more protocells and eventually gave rise to all of the diverse forms of life that we see on Earth today.

"A protocell is a self-organized, self-ordered, spherical collection of lipids proposed as a stepping-stone to the origin of life. The theory of classical irreversible thermodynamics treats self-assembly under a generalized chemical potential within the framework of dissipative systems.” (Source: Wikipedia)



Other theories

While the "lipid world" theory is just one of many theories about the origins of life, it is an interesting and widely-accepted idea that helps scientists to understand how life may have emerged from the chaos of the primordial soup.

There are many other theories as well, including the "meteorite" theory, which suggests that life may have come to Earth from outer space, and the "deep sea vents" theory, which suggests that life may have emerged in the extreme conditions found at the bottom of the ocean.

Despite the many theories, the exact origins of life on Earth remain a mystery, and scientists continue to search for answers.


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