Articles | Volume 12, issue 16
Biogeosciences, 12, 4913–4937, 2015
Biogeosciences, 12, 4913–4937, 2015

Research article 19 Aug 2015

Research article | 19 Aug 2015

Fundamental molecules of life are pigments which arose and co-evolved as a response to the thermodynamic imperative of dissipating the prevailing solar spectrum

K. Michaelian and A. Simeonov

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Cited articles

Abo-Riziq, A., Grace, L., Nir, E., Kabelac, M., Hobza, P., and de Vries, M. S.: Photochemical selectivity in guanine–cytosine base-pair structures, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 102, 20–23, 2005.
Agati, G., Matteini, P., Goti, A., and Tattini, M.: Chloroplast-located flavonoids can scavenge singlet oxygen, New Phytol., 174, 77–89, 2007.
Ajlani, G. and Vernotte, C.: Construction and characterization of a phycobiliprotein-less mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Plant Mol. Biol., 37, 577–580, 1998.
Allen, J. F. and Martin, W.: Evolutionary biology – out of thin air, Nature, 445, 610–612, 2007.
Altermann, W. and Kazmierczak, J.: Archean microfossils: a reappraisal of early life on Earth, Res. Microbiol., 154, 611–617, 2003.
Short summary
We show that the fundamental molecules of life (those common to all three domains of life: Archaea, Bacteria, Eukaryota), including nucleotides, amino acids, enzyme cofactors, and porphyrin agglomerates, absorb light strongly from 230 to 280nm (in the UV-C) and have chemical affinity to RNA and DNA. This supports the "thermodynamic dissipation theory for the origin of life", which suggests that life arose and evolved as a response to dissipating the prevailing Archaean UV-C sunlight into heat.
Final-revised paper