Next Article in Journal
Survival of Self-Replicating Molecules under Transient Compartmentalization with Natural Selection
Next Article in Special Issue
Detection of Biological Bricks in Space. The Case of Adenine in Silica Aerogel
Previous Article in Journal
The Naked Mole-Rat: An Unusual Organism with an Unexpected Latent Potential for Increased Intelligence?
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Oxygen Release Instrument: Space Mission Reactive Oxygen Species Measurements for Habitability Characterization, Biosignature Preservation Potential Assessment, and Evaluation of Human Health Hazards
Open AccessReview

Twenty Years of “Lipid World”: A Fertile Partnership with David Deamer

Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610010, Israel
Bioinformatics Program, Department of Biology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2019 / Revised: 8 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Themed Issue Commemorating Prof. David Deamer's 80th Birthday)
“The Lipid World” was published in 2001, stemming from a highly effective collaboration with David Deamer during a sabbatical year 20 years ago at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The present review paper highlights the benefits of this scientific interaction and assesses the impact of the lipid world paper on the present understanding of the possible roles of amphiphiles and their assemblies in the origin of life. The lipid world is defined as a putative stage in the progression towards life’s origin, during which diverse amphiphiles or other spontaneously aggregating small molecules could have concurrently played multiple key roles, including compartment formation, the appearance of mutually catalytic networks, molecular information processing, and the rise of collective self-reproduction and compositional inheritance. This review brings back into a broader perspective some key points originally made in the lipid world paper, stressing the distinction between the widely accepted role of lipids in forming compartments and their expanded capacities as delineated above. In the light of recent advancements, we discussed the topical relevance of the lipid worldview as an alternative to broadly accepted scenarios, and the need for further experimental and computer-based validation of the feasibility and implications of the individual attributes of this point of view. Finally, we point to possible avenues for exploring transition paths from small molecule-based noncovalent structures to more complex biopolymer-containing proto-cellular systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lipid World; origin of life; GARD; micelle; systems chemistry; systems protobiology; compositional inheritance Lipid World; origin of life; GARD; micelle; systems chemistry; systems protobiology; compositional inheritance
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Lancet, D.; Segrè, D.; Kahana, A. Twenty Years of “Lipid World”: A Fertile Partnership with David Deamer. Life 2019, 9, 77.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop