Have you Hurd? An Origin of Life Reading List

Gary Hurd, that is. :slight_smile: I often encounter @Gary_Hurd on Facebook, but many will recognize him from Panda’s Thumb, various sites about the Internet, or his own blog Stone and Bones. The man is walking (and typing) encyclopedia of references on topics in evolution, biochemistry, original of life, and more. I thought I might share some of that here for those interested.

Gary Hurd

My reading recommendations on the origin of life for people without college chemistry, are;

Hazen, RM 2005 “Gen-e-sis” Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press

Deamer, David W. 2011 “First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began” University of California Press.

They are a bit dated, but are readable for people without much background study.

If you have had a good background, First year college; Introduction to Chemistry, Second year; Organic Chemistry and at least one biochem or genetics course see;

Deamer, David W. 2019 “Assembling Life: How can life begin on Earth and other habitable planets?” Oxford University Press.

Hazen, RM 2019 “Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything” Norton and Co.

Note: Bob Hazen thinks his 2019 book can be read by non-scientists. I doubt it.

Nick Lane 2015 “The Vital Question” W. W. Norton & Company

Nick Lane spent some pages on the differences between Archaea and Bacteria cell boundary chemistry, and mitochondria chemistry. That could hint at a single RNA/DNA life that diverged very early, and then hybridized. Very interesting idea!

Nick Lane

2022 “Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death” W. W. Norton & Company

In this book Professor Lane is focused on the chemistry of the Krebs Cycle (and its’ reverse) for the existence of life, and its’ origin. I did need to read a few sections more than once.


I stumbled (by coincidence) across a couple of recent talks last night by Nick Lane How can we know anything about the origin of life
Also Energy and matter at the origin of life

What does make me suspicious about his claimed expertise in this area though is his claim that science hasn’t stood still since the Miller Urey experiments, clearly the words of someone deluded :laughing:

Jack Szosta also The origin of life: unknowable or almost solved?

Mainly posting these here as they are from the last year or two so folks may not have seen them already

I am depressed to announce, they did not send me to sleep as I was hoping


I have seen most of Nick Lanes’ videos and read his books. I can’t judge where he might be right or wrong. I should check out Hurds’ Stones and Bones blog.

1 Like

If you have suggestions on other videos I would gratefully receive them

NASA Astrobiology some times has interesting videos on origin of life research.


I’ve also been offering the reading list below to anyone interested. Since I put this together there’s been about a dozen new papers I’ve noticed that deserve inclusion, but for now this should keep people busy.

I. Synthesis

  1. Amino Acids & Peptides

“Prebiotic Synthesis of Cysteine Peptides in Neutral Water” - Foden (2020) https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.abd5680

“Sulfur Amino Acids: From Prebiotic Chemistry to Biology” - Youssef-Saliba (2021) Thieme E-Journals - Synthesis / Abstract

“Cysteine Chemistry in Connection to Abiogenesis” - Shalayel (2020) https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejoc.202000089

“A Thermodynamic Chemical Reaction Network Drove Autocatalytic Prebiotic Peptide Formation” - Bao (2022) A thermodynamic chemical reaction network drove autocatalytic prebiotic peptides formation - ScienceDirect

“Primordial Emergence of a Nucleic Acid Binding Protein via Phase Separation and Statistical Ornithine-to-Arginine Conversion” - Longo (2020) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2001989117

“Reactivity Landscape of Pyruvate under Simulated Hydrothermal Vent Conditions” - Novikov (2013) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1304923110

“Water Microdroplets Allow Spontaneous Abiotic Production of Peptides” - Wang (2021) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c01083

“Peptide Synthesis in Aqueous Microdroplets” - Deal (2022) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2216015119

“Aqueous Microdroplets Enable Abiotic Synthesis and Chain Extension of Unique Peptide Isomers from Free Amino Acids” - Cooks (2022) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2212642119

  1. Fatty Acids

“Lipid Synthesis Under Hydrothermal Conditions by Fischer-Tropsch Type Reactions” - McCollom (1999) Lipid Synthesis Under Hydrothermal Conditions by Fischer- Tropsch-Type Reactions | SpringerLink

“Lipid Formation by Aqueous Fischer-Tropsch Type Synthesis from 100-400C” - Rushdi (2001) Lipid Formation by Aqueous Fischer-Tropsch-Type Synthesis over a Temperature Range of 100 to 400 °C | SpringerLink

“Plausible Sources of Membrane-Forming Fatty Acids on the Early Earth: A Review of the Literature and an Estimation of Amounts” - Cohen (2023) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acsearthspacechem.2c00168

“The Abiotic Formation of Hydrocarbons from Dissolved CO2 Under Hydrothermal Conditions with Cobalt-Bearing Magnetite” - Ji (2008) The Abiotic Formation of Hydrocarbons from Dissolved CO2 Under Hydrothermal Conditions with Cobalt-Bearing Magnetite | SpringerLink

  1. Sugars

“Prebiotic Carbohydrate Synthesis: Zinc-Proline Catalyses Direct Aqueous Aldol Reactions of Alpha-Hydroxy Aldehydes and Ketones” - Kofoed (2005) Prebiotic carbohydrate synthesis: zinc–proline catalyzes direct aqueous aldol reactions of α-hydroxy aldehydes and ketones - Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry (RSC Publishing)

“A Plausible Prebiotic Path to Nucleosides: : Ribosides and Related Aldosides Generated from Ribulose, Fructose, and Similar Abiotic Precursors” - Roche (2022) https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.202203036

“A Plausible Prebiotic Selection for Ribose for RNA Formation - Formation, Dynamic Isolation, and Nucleotide Synthesis Based on Metal Doped Clays” - Zhao (2021) A plausible prebiotic selection of ribose for RNA - formation, dynamic isolation, and nucleotide synthesis based on metal-doped-clays - ScienceDirect

“Plausibility of the Formose Reaction in Alkaline Hydrothermal Vent Environments” - Omran (2020) Plausibility of the Formose Reaction in Alkaline Hydrothermal Vent Environments - Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

  1. Phosphorylated Sugars

“Abiotic Production of Sugar Phosphates and Uridine Ribonucleoside in Aqueous Microdroplets” - Nam (2017) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1714896114

“Cysteine and Iron Accelerate the Formation of RIbose-5-Phosphate” - Piedrafita (2021) Cysteine and iron accelerate the formation of ribose-5-phosphate, providing insights into the evolutionary origins of the metabolic network structure

  1. Nucleobases

“Pyrrhotite Catalyzes the Formation of Uracil Under Hydrothermal Conditions” - Aldecoa (2013) https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2013/EPSC2013-679.pdf

“A Nonenzymatic Analogue of Pyrimidine Nucleobase Biosynthesis” - Yi (2022) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ange.202117211

“Building the Uracil Skeleton in Primitive Ponds at the Origins of Life: Carbamoylation of Aspartic Acid” - Ter-Ovanessian (2022) Building the uracil skeleton in primitive ponds at the origins of life: carbamoylation of aspartic acid | Scientific Reports

“A Plausible Prebiotic Synthesis of Orotate and Pyruvate Suggestive of Common Proto-Metabolic Pathways” - Clay (2022) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/anie.202112572

“A One Pot Water Compatible Synthesis of Pyrimidine Nucleobases Under Plausible Prebiotic Conditions” - Okamura (2019) A one-pot, water compatible synthesis of pyrimidine nucleobases under plausible prebiotic conditions - Chemical Communications (RSC Publishing)

“Silica Metal Oxide Vesicles Catalyze Comprehensive Prebiotic Chemistry” - Bizarri (2018) https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.201706162

  1. Nucleosides

“Abiotic Synthesis of Purine and Pyrimidine Ribonucleosides in Aqueous Microdroplets” - Nam (2018) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1718559115

“Direct Prebiotic Pathway to DNA Nucleosides” - Teichert (2019) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ange.201903400

“A Prebiotic Ribosylation of Pyrimidine Nucleobases Enabled by Metal Cations and Clay Minerals” - Chen (2021) Life | Free Full-Text | A Prebiotic Ribosylation of Pyrimidine Nucleobases Enabled by Metal Cations and Clay Minerals

  1. Nucleotides

“Aqueous Microdroplet Driven Abiotic Synthesis of Ribonucleotides” - Ju (2022) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpclett.1c03486

“Physical Non-Equilibria for Prebiotic Nucleic Acid Chemistry” - Ianeselli (2023) Physical non-equilibria for prebiotic nucleic acid chemistry | Nature Reviews Physics

“Confinement and Time Immemorial: Prebiotic Synthesis of Nucleotides on a Porous Mineral Nanoreactor” - (Rodriguez 2019) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpclett.9b01448

  1. RNA

“On the Prebiotic Selection of Nucleotide Anomers: A Computational Study” - Castanedo (2022) On the prebiotic selection of nucleotide anomers: A computational study - ScienceDirect

“Prebiotic Pathway from Ribose to RNA” - Banfalvi (2021) IJMS | Free Full-Text | Prebiotic Pathway from Ribose to RNA Formation

“Emergence of RNA from the Heterogeneous Products of Prebiotic Nucleotide Synthesis” - Kim (2021) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/jacs.0c12955

“Ribose Selected as Precursor for Life” - Banfalvi (2020) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/dna.2019.4943

II. Mutualism

“Prebiotic Peptides: Molecular Hubs in the Origin of Life” - Frenkel-Pinter (2020) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00664

“The Systems Chemistry of Nucleic Acid-Peptide Networks” - Bandela (2022) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijch.202200030

“Co-Evolution of Primordial Membranes and Membrane Proteins” - Mulkidjanian (2009) Co-evolution of primordial membranes and membrane proteins - ScienceDirect

“Synergism and Mutualism in Nonenzymatic RNA Polymerization” - Kaddour (2014) Life | Free Full-Text | Synergism and Mutualism in Non-Enzymatic RNA Polymerization

“The Central Symbiosis of Molecular Biology: Molecules in Mutualism” - Lanier (2017) The Central Symbiosis of Molecular Biology: Molecules in Mutualism | SpringerLink

“Mutually Stabilizing Interactions Between Protopeptides and RNA” - Frenkel-Pinter (2020) Mutually stabilizing interactions between proto-peptides and RNA | Nature Communications

“Lipid-Assisted Polymerization of Nucleotides” - Olasagasti (2019) Life | Free Full-Text | Lipid-Assisted Polymerization of Nucleotides

“Ribonucleotides and RNA Promote Peptide Chain Growth” - Griesser (2016) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.201610650

“Yin and Yang: Polypeptide and Polynucleotide” - Williams (2012) https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/williams_2013.pdf

III. Concentration, Polymerization, and Molecular Transport Mechanisms

“Locomotion and Transformation of Underwater Micrometer-Sized Molecular Aggregates” - Toyota (2017) https://journals.jps.jp/doi/abs/10.7566/JPSJ.86.101006

“Thermal Habitat for RNA Amplification and Accumulation” - Salditt (2020) https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.048104

“Escalation of Polymerization in a Thermal Gradient” - Mast (2013) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1303222110

“Mineral Surfaces Select for Longer RNA Molecules” - Mizuuchi (2019) Mineral surfaces select for longer RNA molecules - Chemical Communications (RSC Publishing) DOI:10.1039/C8CC10319D

“An RNA-Making Reactor for the Origin of Life” - Koonin (2007) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.0702699104

“Formation of Protocell-Like Vesicles in a Thermal Diffusion Column” - Budin (2009) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/ja9029818

IV. Messy Chemistry & Experiments Beyond a “Pristine Lab”

“Adsorption of RNA on Mineral Surfaces and Mineral Precipitates” - Biondi (2017) https://www.beilstein-journals.org/bjoc/articles/13/42

“Where Did Life Begin? Testing Ideas in Prebiotic Analogue Environments” - Deamer (2021) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/11/2/134

“Can Prebiotic Systems Survive in the Wild? An Intereference Chemistry Approach” - Walton (2022) https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2022.1011717/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Earth_Science&id=1011717

“Spontaneous Formation of Functional Structures in Messy Environments” - Mayer (2022) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/12/5/720

“Origins of Life Research: The Conundrum Between Laboratory and Field Simulations of Messy Environments” - Deamer (2022) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/12/9/1429

V. The Ribosome & Translation

“Origin of Life: Protoribosome Forms Peptide Bonds and Links RNA and Protein Dominated Worlds” - Bose (2022) https://academic.oup.com/nar/article/50/4/1815/6523807

“Root of the Tree: The Significance, Evolution, and Origin of the Ribosome” - Bowman (2020) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemrev.9b00742

“The Ribosome Challenge to the RNA World” - Bowman (2015) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00239-015-9669-9

“The Difficult Case of an RNA-only Origin of Life” - Le Vay (2019) https://portlandpress.com/emergtoplifesci/article/3/5/469/220563/The-difficult-case-of-an-RNA-only-origin-of-life

“The Origin of the Prebiotic Information System in an RNA/Peptide World” - Chatterjee (2019) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/9/1/25

“Possible Emergence of Sequence-Specific RNA Aminoacylation Via Peptide Intermediary to Initiate Darwinian Evolution and Code Through Origin of Life” - Kunnev (2018) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/8/4/44

“A Prebiotically Plausible Scenario of an RNA-Peptide World” - Muller (2022) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04676-3

“The Evolution of Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases: From Dawn to LUCA” - de Pouplana (2020) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1874604720300299

“tRNA Evolution from the Proto-tRNA Mini-Helix World” - Root Bernstein (2016) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21541264.2016.1235527

“Emergence of Information Transmission in a Prebiotic RNA Reactor” - Obermayer (2011) https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.018101

“Exceptional Error Minimization in Putative Primordial Genetic Codes” - Novozhilov (2009) https://biologydirect.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1745-6150-4-44

“On the Origin of Sequence” - van der Gulik (2015) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/5/4/1629

“The Origin of Heredity in Protocells” - West (2017) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rstb.2016.0419

VI. The Hadean

“Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon: A Preliminary Species List” - Hazen (2013) https://www.ajsonline.org/content/313/9/807.short

“The Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon Revisited” - Morrison (2018) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/8/4/64

“A Wet Heterogeneous Mantle Creates a Habitable World in the Hadean” - Korenaga (2022) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04371-9

“Life in a Carbon Dioxide World” - Preiner (2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00977-1

“Evidence for Early Life in Earth’s Oldest Hydrothermal Vent Precipitates” - Dodd 2017 https://www.nature.com/articles/nature21377 (Compiler’s Note: A subsequent publication has questioned whether or not the fossils are as old as the vent system. But both studies concur that the site is 3.7-4.2 Ga.)

“The Hadean Crust: Evidence from >4 Ga Zircons” - Harrison (2009) https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100151

“Nitrogen Oxides in Early Earth’s Atmosphere as Electron Acceptors for Life’s Emergence” - Wong (2017) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2016.1473

“Composition of the Primordial Ocean Just After Its Formation” - Ueda (2021) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/11/4/389

“Primordial Ocean Chemistry and Its Compatability with an RNA World” - Kua (2011) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11084-011-9250-5

VII. Emergence of Metabolism

“Simultaneous Synthesis of Thioesters and Iron Sulfur Clusters in Water: Two Universal Components of Energy Metabolism” - Sanden (2020) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2020/cc/d0cc04078a/unauth

“Spontaneous Assembly of Redox-Active Iron Sulfur Clusters at Low Concentrations of Cysteine” - Jordan (2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-26158-2

“Carbon-Metal Bonds: Rare and Primordial in Metabolism” - Martin (2019) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968000419300908

“Recreating Ancient Metabolic Pathways Before Enzymes” - Muchowska (2019) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0968089619300033

“Synthesis and Breakdown of Universal Metabolic Precursors Promoted by Iron” - Muchowska (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1151-1

“Linked Cycles of Oxidative Decarboxylation of Glyoxylate as Protometabolic Analogs of the Citric Acid Cycle” - Springsteen (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02591-0

“The Messy Alkaline Formose Reaction and Its Link to Metabolism” - Omran (2020) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/10/8/125

Debate: Cyanide and Metabolism

“Prebiotic Synthesis of Alpha-Amino Acids and Orotate from Alpha-Keto Acids Potentiates Transition to Extant Metabolic Pathways” - Pulletikurti (2022) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41557-022-00999-w


“An Appeal to Magic?” The Discovery of a Nonenzymatic Metabolism and its Role in the Origins of Life" - Ralser (2018) https://portlandpress.com/biochemj/article/475/16/2577/49772/An-appeal-to-magic-The-discovery-of-a-non

“Beating the Acetyl CoA Pathway to the Origin of Life” - Nitschke (2013) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rstb.2012.0258

“Catalysts, Autocatalysis, and the Origins of Metabolism” - Preiner (2019) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0072

VIII. Paleometabolism & LUCA

“Chemical Basis of Carbon Fixation Autotrophic Paleometabolism” - Marakushev (2021) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S1062359021050095

“The Autotrophic Core: An Ancient Network of 404 Reactions Converts H2, CO2, and NH3 into Amino Acids, Bases, and Cofactors” - Wimmer (2021) https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/9/2/458

“On the Chemistry and Evolution of the Pioneer Organism” - Wachtershauser (2007) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cbdv.200790052

“Protometabolism as Out of Equilibrium Chemistry” - Nader (2022) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2020.0423

“Protometabolism as Out of Equilibrium Chemistry” - Nader (2022) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2020.0423

“The Compositional and Evolutionary Logic of Metabolism” - Braakman (2012) https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1478-3975/10/1/011001/meta

“Nonenzymatic Metabolic Reactions and Life’s Origins” - Muchowska (2020) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.chemrev.0c00191

“A Consensus View of the Proteome of the Last Universal Common Ancestor” - Crapitto (2022) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.8930

“High CO2 Levels Drive the TCA Cycle Backwards to Autotrophy” - Steffens (2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03456-9

IX. The “Water Paradox”

“Chemistry in Nanoconfined Water” - Manoz-Santiburtio (2017) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/sc/c6sc04989c

“The Ambivalent Role of Water at the Origins of Life” - Nascimento Vieira (2020) https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/1873-3468.13815

“Chemical Reactivity Under Nanoconfinement” - Grommet (2020) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-020-0652-2

“The Rocky Road to Organics Needs Drying” - Andreani (2023) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-36038-6

“The Power of Crowding for the Origin of Life” - Hansma (2015) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11084-014-9382-5

“Generation of Long RNA Chains in Water” - Costanzo (2009) https://www.jbc.org/article/S0021-9258(20)37757-7/fulltext

“Spontaneous Formation and Base Pairing of Plausible Prebiotic Nucleotides in Water” - Cafferty (2016) https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms11328

X. Clay Minerals

“Layered Double Hydroxides as Nanoreactors for Prebiotic Chemistry” - Gregoire (2013) https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2013/EPSC2013-521.pdf

“Natural Double Layered Hydroxides: Structure, Chemistry, and Information Storage Capacity” - Krivovichev (2011) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-20018-2_9

“Layered Double Hydroxides: Precursors for Multifunctional Catalysts” - Tichit (2006) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11244-006-0041-6

“Layered Double Hydroxides as Possible Information Storage and Transfer Compounds” - Greenwell (2006) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11084-005-2068-2

“Vesicle Formation Induced by Layered Double Hydroxides” - Nie (2011) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00396-011-2391-2

“In Situ Polymerization and Intercalation of Polymers in Layered Double Hydroxides” - Taviot-Gueho (2005) https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/430_001

“Layered Double Hydroxides in Bioinspired Nanotechnology” - Arrabito (2020) https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4352/10/7/602

“Formation of Hydrotalcite in Aqueous Solutions and Intercalation of ATP by Anion Exchange” - Tamura (2006) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0021979706002864

“Adsorption of Nucleotides onto Ferromagnesian Phyllosilicates: Significance for the Origin of Life” - Pedreire-Segade (2016) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001670371500719X

“Adsorption of Nucleic Acid Bases, Ribose, and Phosphate by Some Clay Minerals” - Hashizume (2015) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/5/1/637

“Clays and the Origins of Life: The Experiments” - Kloprogge (2022) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/12/2/259

“Stability of Free and Mineral Protected Nucleic Acids: Implications for the RNA World” - Swadling (2012) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016703711007447

“Fougerite: The Not So Simple Progenitor of the First Cells” - Duval (2019) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsfs.2019.0063

“Green Rust: The ‘Simple’ Organizing Seed of All Life?” - Russell (2018) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/8/3/35

“On the why’s and how’s of clay minerals importance in life’s emergence” - Duval (2020) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169131720303021

XI. Protecting Groups?

“How Do Nucleotides Adsorb onto Clays?” - Pedreire-Segade (2018) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/8/4/59

“Mineral Surface Chemistry Control for Origin of Prebiotic Peptides” - Erastova (2017) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02248-y

XII. Homochirality

“Possible Chemical and Physical Scenarious Toward Biological Homochirality” - Sallembien (2022) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2022/cs/d1cs01179k

“Spontaneous Mirror Symmetry Breaking in the Limited Enantioselective Autocatalysis Model: Abyssal Hydrothermal Vents as Scenario for the Emergence of Chirality in Prebiotic Chemistry” - Ribo (2013) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2012.0904

“Chemical Basis of Biological Homochirality During the Abiotic Evolution Stages in Earth” - Ribo (2019) https://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/11/6/814

“Duplex Formation and the Origins of Homochirality” - Deamer (2022) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2021.0018

“Spontaneous Mirror Symmetry Breaking in Heterocatalytically Coupled Enantioselective Replicators” - Ribo (2017) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/sc/c6sc02446g

“On the Origin of Sugar Handedness: Facts, Hypotheses, and Missing Links - A Review” - Martinez (2022) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11084-022-09624-9

XIII. Serpentinization

“Serpentinite and the Dawn of Life” - Sleep (2011) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rstb.2011.0129

“Serpentinization, Carbon, and Deep Life” - Shrenk (2013) https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/msa/rimg/article-abstract/75/1/575/140987/Serpentinization-Carbon-and-Deep-Life

“The Inevitable Journey to Being” - Russell (2013) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rstb.2012.0254

“Serpentinization as a Source of Energy at the Origin of Life” - Russell (2010) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1472-4669.2010.00249.x

XIV. Nitrogen Fixation

“Kinetics of Nitrate Reduction by Green Rusts” - Hansen (2001) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0169131700000296

“Abiotic Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium: Key Role of Green Rust” - Hansen (1996) https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es950844w

“Inorganic Nitrogen Reduction and Stability Under Simulated Hydrothermal Conditions” - Brandes (2009) https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2007.0187

“Stable Abiotic Production of Ammonia from Nitrate in Komatiite-Hosted Hydrothermal Systems in the Hadean and Archean Oceans” - Nishizawa (2021) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/11/3/321

XV. Carbon Fixation

“A Hydrogen Dependent Geochemical Analogue of Primordial Carbon and Energy Fixation” - Preiner (2020) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-020-1125-6

“Native Iron Reduces CO2 to Intermediates and End Products of the Acetyl CoA Pathway” - Varma (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0542-2

“The Emergence and Early Evolution of Biological Carbon Fixation” - Braakman (2012) https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002455

“Bioinspired CO2 Conversion by Iron Sulfide Catalysts Under Sustainable Conditions” - Roldan (2015) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/cc/c5cc02078f

XVI. pH Gradients and Motive Force

“Steep pH Gradients and Directed Colloid Transport in a Microfluidic Alkaline Hydrothermal Pore” - Moller (2017) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/anie.201610781

“CO2 Reduction Driven by pH Gradient” - Hudson (2020) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.2002659117

“Proton Gradients at the Origins of Life” - Lane (2017) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bies.201600217

“Electrochemistry at Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents: Utilization of the Thermodynamic Driving Force Towards the Autotrophic Origin of Life” - Ooka (2018) https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/celc.201801432

“Hydrothermal Focusing of Chemical and Chemiosmotic Energy” - Nitschke (2009) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00239-009-9289-3

“Proton Gradients and pH Oscillations Emerge from Heat Flow at the Microscale” - Keil (2017) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02065-3

XVII. Modern Day Abiotic Synthesis at Vents

“Abiotic Amino Acid Synthesis in the Recesses of the Oceanic Lithosphere” - Menez (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0684-z

“Abiogenic Hydrocarbon Production at Lost City Hydrothermal Field” - Proskurowski (2008) https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1151194

XVIII. Stability with Salts & Divalent Cations

“Promotion of Protocell Self-Assembly by Mixed Amphiphiles at the Origin of Life” - Jordan (2019) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-019-1015-y

“The Impact of Salts on Single Chain Amphiphile Membranes and Implications for the Location of the Origin of Life” - Maurer (2017) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/7/4/44

“Synthesis and Characterization of Amino Acid Decyl Esters as Early Membranes for the Origins of Life” - Lago (2022) https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0375/12/9/858

“Nucleobases Bind to and Stabilize Aggregates of a Prebiotic Amphiphile” - Black (2013) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1300963110

“Inhibitory Activity of Thermal Copolymers of Amino Acids for the Metal-Catalyzed Hydrolysis of RNA” - Kawamura (2006) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0273117706004224

“Prebiotic Amino Acids Bind to and Stabilize Prebiotic Fatty Acid Membranes” - Cornell (2019) https://www.pnas.org/doi/abs/10.1073/pnas.1900275116

“Influence of Metal Ions on Model Protoamphiphilic Vesicular Systems” - Joshi (2021) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/11/12/1413

[Compiler’s Note: You can also find articles using citric acid to stabilize membranes in the presence of divalent cations, and Szostak showed this allows template directed RNA replication to proceed sometime around 2017, I think, as well as papers synthesizing citric acid using Chromium 3+, with a downstream reaction of citric acid with Chromium 6+ to 3+, but I did not want to hunt all this down at the moment]

XIX. Phosphate

“Marine Phosphate Availability and the Chemical Origins of Life” - Brady (2022) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-32815-x

“Serpentinization as a Route to Liberating Phosphorus on Habitable Worlds” - Pasek (2022) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016703722005130

“Microfluidic Production of Pyrophosphate Catalyzed by Mineral Membranes with Steep pH Gradients” - Wang (2019) https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/chem.201805950

“Pyrophosphate Synthesis in Iron Mineral Films and Membranes Simulating Prebiotic Submarine Hydrothermal Precipitates” - Barge (2014) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S001670371300690X

“A Prebiotic Basis for ATP as the Universal Energy Currency” - Pinna (2022) https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3001437

“Acetyl Phosphate as a Primordial Energy Currency at the Origin of Life” - Whicher (2018) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11084-018-9555-8

XX. Complexity

“Brownian Ratchets of Life: Stochasticity Combined with Disequilibrium Produces Order” - Moore (2019) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bies.201900076

“Self-Organization in Precipitation Reactions Far From Equilibrium” - Nakouzi (2016) https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/sciadv.1601144

“Dissipative Self-assembly, Competition and Inhibition in a Self-Reproducing Protocell Model” - Post (2020) https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2020/sc/d0sc02768e

XXI. Autocatalysis

“Plausible Emergence of Autocatalytic Cycles Under Prebiotic Conditions” - Piotto (2019) https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/9/2/33

“Autocatalytic Chemical Networks at the Origins of Life” - Xavier (2020) https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2019.2377

XXII. Waste

“Prebiotic Decluttering: The Thermodynamic Tailwind to Asymmetric Autocatalysis” - Perovic (2023) https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology/article/prebiotic-decluttering-the-thermodynamic-tailwind-to-asymmetric-autocatalysis/21E5C1A3A813F80E51B9C87ED7BC41E3

“Synthetic Connectivity, Emergence, and Self-Regeneration in the Network of Prebiotic Chemistry” - Wolos (2020) https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.aaw1955


That’s quite a list! @Gary_Hurd should see this. :slight_smile:

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