• Ulrich C. Schreiber
  • Christian Mayer


Nothing is as complex as life. And although we now know quite a lot about it, one crucial question has still remained unanswered since time immemorial: how did life come into being? Did it happen according to scientific laws, here on earth, elsewhere, or by the hand of a supernatural creator? This question has moved mankind for thousands of years. The answers provided by science have so far been unsatisfactory.

A group of scientists from the University of Duisburg-Essen has tackled this question of what the biggest unsolved problem in science is perhaps and may be able to make a decisive contribution to solving it. They are searching for the beginning, the very first cell from which all other cells originate. Their quest is about the definition of life, entropy, energy, information storage, and how everything began.

An overview of the conditions on earth after its genesis, the general conditions for life, and the position that scientific research takes in the history of mankind provides an introduction to the topic, which is one of the most exciting in scientific research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich C. Schreiber
    • 1
  • Christian Mayer
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty for BiologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty for ChemistryUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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