The formation of droplets that divide into lesser droplets is, we are told, “a big achievement that suggests that “the general phenomenology of life formation is a lot easier than one might think.”
Now, the new work by David Zwicker and collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, both in Dresden, suggests an answer. The scientists studied the physics of “chemically active” droplets, which cycle chemicals in and out of the surrounding fluid, and discovered that these droplets tend to grow to cell size and divide, just like cells. This “active droplet” behavior differs from the passive and more familiar tendencies of oil droplets in water, which glom together into bigger and bigger droplets without ever dividing.
If chemically active droplets can grow to a set size and divide of their own accord, then “it makes it more plausible that there could have been spontaneous emergence of life from nonliving soup,” said Frank Jülicher, a biophysicist in Dresden and a co-author of the new paper.
The findings, reported in Nature Physics last month, paint a possible picture of life’s start by explaining “how cells made daughters,” said Zwicker, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. “This is, of course, key if you want to think about evolution.” …
However, David Deamer, a biochemist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a longtime champion of the membrane-first hypothesis, argues that while the newfound mechanism of droplet division is interesting, its relevance to the origin of life remains to be seen. The mechanism is a far cry, he noted, from the complicated, multistep process by which modern cells divide.Natalie Wolchover, “Dividing Droplets Could Explain Life’s Origin” at Quanta
Complex, multistep processes don’t matter. The selling feature is “a possible picture” of “how cells made daughters.”
The Narrative does all the rest.
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.
Before you go: DNA uses “climbers’ ropes method” to keep tangles at bay It all just swished into place among unthinking cells billions of yours ago. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. Go tell it on the mountain.
DNA as a laster of resource recycling
The amazing energy efficiency of cells: A science writer compares the cell to human inventions and finds that it is indeed amazingly energy-efficient.
In addition to DNA, our cells have an instruction language written in sugar Of course it all just tumbled into existence and “natural selection” somehow organized everything. As if.
Cells find optimal solutions. Not just good ones.
Researchers build “public library” to help understand photosynthesis
Wait. “The part of the plant responsible for photosynthesis is like a complex machine made up of many parts, … ” And machines just happen all by themselves, right? There is no information load to account for; it just evolved by natural selection acting on random mutation the way your Android did!
In Nature: Cells have “secret conversations” We say this a lot: That’s a lot of information to have simply come into being by natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism). It’s getting not only ridiculous but obviously ridiculous.
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Researchers: Helpful gut microbes send messages to their hosts If the strategy is clearly identified, they should look for non-helpful microbes that have found a way to copy it (horizontal gene transfer?)
Cells and proteins use sugars to talk to one another Cells are like Neanderthal man. They get smarter every time we run into them. And just think, it all just tumbled into existence by natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism) too…
Researchers: First animal cell was not simple; it could “transdifferentiate” From the paper: “… these analyses offer no support for the homology of sponge choanocytes and choanoflagellates, nor for the view that the first multicellular animals were simple balls of cells with limited capacity to differentiate.”
“Interspecies communication” strategy between gut bacteria and mammalian hosts’ genes described
Researchers: Cells Have A Repair Crew That Fixes Local Leaks
Researchers: How The Immune System “Thinks”
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Researcher: Mathematics Sheds Light On “Unfathomably Complex” Cellular Thinking
How do cells in the body know where they are supposed to be?
Researchers A Kill Cancer Code Is Embedded in Every Cell