Remember Alexandr Oparin and coacervate theory? Now a remake:
Origin-of-life research reported at Penn State begins with diagrams of spheres of various diameters. The headline by Sam Sholtis announces, “Models for potential precursors of cells endure simulated early-Earth conditions.” …
Physicists at the University of Chicago joined in the work on this new coacervate theory. The news, “Study shows how tiny compartments could have preceded cells,” is dressed up with a very sciency picture of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The half-mile accelerator allowed molecular engineer Dean Matthew Tirrell to peek inside the bubbles after wet/dry cycles. Lo and behold! The ingredients were getting concentrated! They were evolving! It’s alive! …
To show that Oparin the Marxist revolutionary is still honored in the origin-of-life field, read this 2012 article for Evolution News where, despite Oparin’s numerous wrong ideas, Nature almost conferred sainthood on him. As for his famous “complex coacervates,” Nature said, “This hypothesis of colloidal assembly has largely been displaced by other concepts of life’s origins.” Oh really? It’s back!Evolution News, “Sorry, Origin-of-Life Researchers, But Bubbles Are Not Cells” at Evolution News and Science Today
Here’s the joint (open access) paper.
It’s best to see origin-of-life studies today as an upper class science hobby.
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.