Darwin, nós temos um problema: o requisito de celularidade para ocorrer a abiogênese

sábado, outubro 01, 2022

Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal

Volume 19, 2021, Pages 2202-2212

The requirement of cellularity for abiogenesis

AdrianoCaliari a JianXu b Tetsuya Yomo b

a School of Software Engineering, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, PR China

b Laboratory of Biology and Information Science, Biomedical Synthetic Biology Research Center, School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, PR China

Received 17 February 2021, Revised 10 April 2021, Accepted 13 April 2021, Available online 17 April 2021, Version of Record 24 April 2021.



The history of modern biochemistry started with the cellular theory of life. By putting aside the holistic protoplasmic theory, scientists of the XX century were able to advance the functional classification of cellular components significantly. The cell became the unit of the living. Current theories on the abiogenesis of life must account for a moment in evolution (chemical or biological) when this was not the case. Investigating the role of compartments and membranes along chemical and biotic evolution can lead a more generalised idea of living organisms that is fundamental to advance our efforts in astrobiology, origin of life and artificial life studies. Furthermore, it may provide insights in unexplained evolutionary features such as the lipid divide between Archaea and Eubacteria. By surveying our current understanding of the involvement of compartments in abiogenesis and evolution, the idea of cells as atomistic units of a general theory of biology will be discussed. The aim is not to undermine the validity of the cellular theory of life, but rather to elucidate possible biases with regards to cellularity and the origin of life. An open discussion in these regards could show the inherent limitations of non-cellular compartmentalization that may lead to the necessity of cellular structures to support complex life.

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