Special Issue "Phosphorus (P) and the Origins of Life"
A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017) | Viewed by 26484
Within the field of abiogenesis, the study of life’s origins, there are many different avenues of exploration which transcend traditional disciplines and attempt to provide both coherent hypotheses and penetrating experimental demonstrations with the aim to shed light on the emergent phenomenon of life. Within such a pan-discipline arena, there are certain recurrent themes which link together work from astronomical, geological, chemical and biological-based teams; one such theme centers on the role of phosphorus in the emergence of life.
Phosphorus has properties, which, to the best of our knowledge, make it uniquely suited to its roles in contemporary biochemistry. The element lies at the heart of all cellular energy currency systems, cell membranes, nucleic acids and metabolism. The mechanisms by which nature first integrated phosphorus into primitive life are not currently known but, as the element holds such importance to extant life processes, it is envisaged that these mechanisms are ancient and fundamental to life’s emergence. Consequently, no model of the emergence of life can be considered complete unless it offers insights into how phosphorus came to occupy the position it does in the chemical process of living.
For these reasons, the investigation of the emergence of phosphorus-based systems in abiogenesis is a significant and rapidly growing field of study. In this Special Issue, some of the most recent discoveries and avenues of investigation are presented; highlighting how far we have come and hinting at how far we have yet to go in understanding this fundamental problem within the field abiogenesis.
Dr. Terry Kee
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- phosphorus chemistry
- energy currency systems
- nucleic acids