Friday, 4 November 2011

Origins of Life - ignoring extra-terrestrial dimensions

Origins of Life: The Primal Self-Organization - new book edited by Richard Egel, Dirk-Henner Lankenau and Armen Y. Mulkidjanian, who ask:

 “Why cannot life scientists and geochemists reach consensus on how cellular and organismal life most likely has emerged and settled on this planet? The biggest gap in our understanding persistently separates bottom-up inferences (from tentative primordial conditions on early Earth) and anthropic top-down extrapolations.”
Yet a still bigger gap is the refusal to contemplate extra-terrestrial primordial conditions

The final epilogue chapter spotlights another still pending problem - the inherently complex nature of pre-cellular organization before the consolidation of integral genomes.  Focus on that problem might help direct attention to the adaptability of procarya to extreme environments, including extra-terrestrial, shown by space-hardiness of bacteria etc.

The preface and chapter titles/authors are on this link.