Olga Taran (Dept. of Chemistry & Chemical Biology/Whitesides Lab)
Life on Earth is shaped by the environmental conditions of the planet. Therefore, it is probable that life started as a subcycle of geochemical cycles on early Earth. I will talk about the possible relationships between clay weathering and K+/Na+ gradients, evaporation of saline lakes and condensation reactions, in addition to the Krebs cycle and conductive minerals. I suggest that the first compartments were small rock cavities that hosted simple chemical networks formed by small organic molecules. Such networks were the precursors to the metabolic cycles that sustained later RNA and peptide chemistry.