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Recent Advances in Origins of Life Research by Biophysicists in Japan

by Tony Z. Jia 1,* and Yutetsu Kuruma 1,2
1
Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1-IE-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
2
JST, PRESTO, 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2019, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10010028
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
Biophysics research tends to focus on utilizing multidisciplinary technologies and interdisciplinary collaborations to study biological phenomena through the lens of chemistry and physics. Although most current biophysics work is focused on studying extant biology, the fact remains that modern biological systems at some point were descended from a universal common ancestor. At the core of modern biology is the important question of how the earliest life on (or off) Earth emerged. Recent technological and methodological advances developed by biophysicists in Japan have allowed researchers to gain a new suite of knowledge related to the origins of life (OoL). Using these reports as inspiration, here, we highlight some of the significant OoL advances contributed by members of the biophysical research field in Japan with respect to the synthesis and assembly of biological (or pre-biological) components on early Earth, the co-assembly of primitive compartments with biopolymer systems, and the evolution of early genetic systems. We hope to provide inspiration to other biophysicists to not only use the always-advancing suite of available multidisciplinary technologies to continue their own line of work, but to also consider how their work or techniques can contribute to the ever-growing field of OoL research. View Full-Text
Keywords: biophysics; origins of life; astrobiology; interdisciplinary science biophysics; origins of life; astrobiology; interdisciplinary science
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Jia, T.Z.; Kuruma, Y. Recent Advances in Origins of Life Research by Biophysicists in Japan. Challenges 2019, 10, 28.

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