Role of Vicinal Water in Cellular Evolution

  • W. Drost-Hansen


Water is crucial to all living systems; indeed, life undoubtedly developed in an aqueous environment and life depends on, and reflects, the unusual properties of water. Phrased differently, life is intimately tied to the nature and extent of hydrogen bonding, not only through the role of hydrogen bonding in determining the structure and properties of water, but in addition through the role of H-bonding in determining the stability and functioning of proteins and nucleic acids. Hydrogen bonding — and hence its manifestations in the form of the nature of water — is truly a time invariant. Thus, whatever adaptations cellular systems may have had to conform to and take advantage of H-bonding, those features must have been the same since life began and to the present time. Specifically, therefore, whatever information we may now be able to deduce about living systems, reflecting the structural properties of water, must be generally true from protocells to the most complex of present day organisms.


Bulk Water Cellular Functioning Narrow Temperature Interval Double Layer Effect Bulk Aqueous Solution 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Drost-Hansen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Water Research Department of ChemistryUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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