Document Detail

Perspective: researching the transition from non-living to the first microorganisms: methods and experiments are major challenges.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20353804     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Methods to research the origin of microbial life are limited. However, microorganisms were the first organisms on the Earth capable of cell growth and division, and interactions with their environment, other microbial cells, and eventually with diverse eukaryotic organisms. The origin of microbial life and the supporting scientific evidence are both an enigma and a scientific priority. Numerous hypotheses have been proposed, scenarios imagined, speculations presented in papers, insights shared, and assumptions made without supporting experimentation, which have led to limited progress in understanding the origin of microbial life. The use of the human imagination to envision the origin of life events, without supporting experimentation, observation and independently replicated experiments required for science, is a significant constraint. The challenge remains how to better understand the origin of microbial life using observations and experimental methods as opposed to speculation, assumptions, scenarios, envisioning events and un-testable hypotheses. This is not an easy challenge as experimental design and plausible hypothesis testing are difficult. Since past approaches have been inconclusive in providing evidence for the origin of microbial life mechanisms and the manner in which genetic instructions was encoded into DNA/RNA, it is reasonable and logical to propose that progress will be made when testable, plausible hypotheses and methods are used in the origin of microbial life research, and the experimental observations are, or are not reproduced in independent laboratories. These perspectives will be discussed in this article as well as the possibility that a pre-biotic film preceded a microbial biofilm as a possible micro-location for the origin of microbial cells capable of growth and division.
J T Trevors
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-03-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of microbiological methods     Volume:  81     ISSN:  1872-8359     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Microbiol. Methods     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-10     Completed Date:  2010-08-06     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8306883     Medline TA:  J Microbiol Methods     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  259-63     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, 350 Stone Rd., East, Guelph, Ontario NIG2W1, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Biomedical Research / methods*,  trends*

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