Thermodynamic Perspectives and the Origin of Life

  • Sidney W. Fox
Part of the Studies in the Natural Sciences book series (SNS, volume 4)


In relating thermodynamic concepts to the understanding of the origin of life, we shall examine the recently enlarged experimental laboratory model for macromolecular and cellular origins (Fox and Dose, 1972). The experimental model now extends from organic matter in the Solar System (Fox, 1974) through amino acids (Fox, 1973a), protoprotein, and a reproducing, heterotrophic protocell to systems able to make their own internucleotide and peptide bonds (Fox, Jungck, and Nakashima, 1974) and relates to the origin of the genetic code (Fox, 1974). The experiments have been performed under geologically relevant conditions. When we consider the question of thermodynamic relevance, we find unifying concepts in the formation of peptide bonds both before and after the formation of cellular systems.


Genetic Code Peptide Bond Pyruvic Acid Irreversible Thermodynamic Glyoxylic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney W. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Molecular and Cellular EvolutionUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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