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The Origins of Life: Old Problems, New Chemistries

Authors

  • Prof. Dr. Stephen Mann

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Organized Matter Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TS (UK)
    • Centre for Organized Matter Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TS (UK)

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  • I am indebted to my research group for many interesting discussions, and to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, USA, for the award of an International Fellowship during 2011–2012.

Abstract

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Synthetic life: The origin of life on the early Earth, and the ex novo transition of non-living matter to artificial living systems are deep scientific challenges that provide a context for the development of new chemistries with unknown technological consequences. This Essay attempts to re-frame some of the epistemological difficulties associated with these questions into an integrative framework of proto-life science. Chemistry is at the heart of this endeavour.

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