Research from the Gözen group sheds light on the nucleation and growth of primitive cells from nanotube networks
Research published in the leading multidisciplinary journal, Small
Commenting on the research, group leader Irep Gözen says:
"Our paper presents experimental evidence that nucleation and growth of primitive cells from nanotube networks are remarkably enhanced at temperatures between 40 and 70 °C, and their fusion can be initiated at ~90 °C. We also show that the microcontainers formed in this manner encapsulate and redistribute RNA, and we corroborate that lipid nanotube-interconnected neighboring vesicles join and fuse more rapidly than in bulk suspensions.
"The temperatures in Darwin's ‘little warm ponds’ vary between 50 to 80°C, and in the recently discovered Lost City type hydrothermal vents, which are presumed relevant to the early Earth, from 40 to 90°C. Surprisingly, this is the exact temperature range of our experiments, which promotes protocell formation, growth and fusion."
Read the paper in full: Rapid Growth and Fusion of Protocells in Surface‐Adhered Membrane Networks, Köksal, Elif S.; Liese, Susanne; Xue, Lin; Ryskulov, Ruslan; Viitala, Lauri; Carlson, Andreas; Gözen, Irep. Small (2020).