Self-Organization and Prebiotic Environment

  • Silvano Traverso
Chapter

Abstract

The hypothesis that the first step towards life took place in an aqueous medium gives rise to a number of thermodynamical problems. Here it is suggested that the hydrophobic layer made of hydrocarbons and other hydrophobic molecules which presumably covered the surface of primordial seas would have provided an environment more suitable than water for the concentration and polymerisation of prebiotic molecules. Furthermore, it is stressed that the emergence of self-organised molecular systems, such as Kauffman’s autocatalytic networks, requires an environment in which molecules can easily interact with each other. While water weakens electrostatic interactions, because of its high dielectric constant, a hydrophobic medium seems to be a more suitable environment for the development of self-organised catalytic systems.

Keywords

High Dielectric Constant Hydrophobic Molecule Polar Amino Acid Hydrophobic Layer Genetic Information Processing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvano Traverso
    • 1
  1. 1.Rivista di Biologia / Biology ForumGenovaItaly

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