How Life Emerged From Deep-Sea Rocks

How Life Emerged From Deep-Sea Rocks

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Rocks, water and hot alkaline fluid rich in hydrogen gas spewing out of deep-sea vents: this recipe for life has been championed for years by a small group of scientists. Now two of them have fleshed out the detail on how the first cells might have evolved in these vents, and escaped their deep sea lair.

Nick Lane at University College London and Bill Martin at the University of Düsseldorf in Germany think the answer to how life emerged lies in the origin of cellular ion pumps, proteins that regulate the flow of ions across the cell’s membrane, the barrier that separates it from the outside world. Their hypothesis is published in Cell.

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