Seeking to uncover biology's chemical roots

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Despite the considerable advances in molecular biology over the past several decades, the nature of the physical-chemical process by which inanimate matter become transformed into simplest life remains elusive. In this review, we describe recent advances in a relatively new area of chemistry, systems chemistry, which attempts to uncover the physical-chemical principles underlying that remarkable transformation. A significant development has been the discovery that within the space of chemical potentiality there exists a largely unexplored kinetic domain which could be termed dynamic kinetic chemistry. Our analysis suggests that all biological systems and associated sub-systems belong to this distinct domain, thereby facilitating the placement of biological systems within a coherent physical/chemical framework. That discovery offers new insights into the origin of life process, as well as opening the door toward the preparation of active materials able to self-heal, adapt to environmental changes, even communicate, mimicking what transpires routinely in the biological world. The road to simplest proto-life appears to be opening up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-443
Number of pages9
JournalEmerging topics in life sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Medicine (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Seeking to uncover biology's chemical roots'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this