What was life like before life?

by phil on Sunday Nov 27, 2011 4:32 PM

A new picture is being formed of an Earth that was a giant mega-organism called LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor). LUCA is what came before single-celled bactera and complex eukayrotes (which became animals and plants). The idea is that the primordial soup of Earth was a giant melange of mostly non-working levers and gears (proteins, etc.), but dotted with some functional and self-sustaining loops of chemical factories. Genes were traded freely, there wasn't really competition yet between organisms, and the concept of a membrane hadn't solidified yet. In other words, it was a free-for-all mixture of automata and pseudo-automata waiting to develop enough patterns and templates to create the building blocks for more complex life.

This is how I visualize the precursors to life:

(From Conway's Game of Life)

(The Blue Ball Machine)


Ezra said on January 23, 2012 7:01 AM:

Wow, amazing that acidocalcisomes may have been conserved between prokaryotes and eukaryotes from their evolutionary roots in LUCA.

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