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a physicochemical jigsaw puzzle
New book in Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology: How Molecular Forces and Rotating Planets Create Life

What is life? How did life start on Earth?

In "How Molecular Forces and Rotating Planets Create Life The Emergence and Evolution of Prokaryotic Cells," Jan Spitzer presents an intriguing theory that reconceptualizes origins research by exploiting a modern understanding of non-covalent molecular forces and covalent bond formation. The result is a physiochemical approach, in the tradition of Linus Pauling and Max Delbrück, that identifies key stages in life's emergence, from the formation of first oceans, tidal sediments, and proto-biofilms to progenotes, proto-cells and the first cellular organisms.

The new book in the Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology argues that geochemical cycling processes—diurnal solar radiation and tidal hydration-dehydration—underpin life's emergence and evolution. Spitzer argues that non-covalent molecular forces, acting in cycling geochemical processes, bring about phase separations—the creation of purified, lower entropy, potentially living biological matter. Non-covalent molecular forces stabilize a bacterial cell during its cell cycle.

This is a book on cyclically-driven processes in the origin of life. Spitzer assembles the puzzle pieces of a physicochemical jigsaw puzzle into a renewed picture of the emergence of life on Earth. He classifies early Archaean evolution as micro-evolution, meso-evolution, and macro-evolution according to physicochemical mechanisms that can modify the nucleoid during a prokaryotic cell cycle and suggests ideas for future experiments.

Purchase the book here on the MIT website.

How Molecular Forces and Rotating Planets Create Life:
The Emergence and Evolution of Prokaryotic Cells