Self-assembly behaviours of primitive and modern lipid membrane solutions: a coarse-grained molecular simulation study†
Researchers have studied the origin of life and the process of evolution on early Earth for decades. However, we lack a comprehensive understanding of biogenesis, because there are many stages in the formation and growth of the first cell. We investigate the self-replication processes of coacervate protocells using computer simulations of single-chain lipid and phospholipid aqueous mixtures. Based on a morphological phase diagram, we develop a model of prebiotic self-replication driven by only environmental factors (i.e. temperature and lipid concentrations) without any external force. Moreover, we investigate high concentration structures during the process of self-replication. These structures have an advantage in fusion and repair of cell membranes. Therefore, lipid hot spots may have existed in primordial soup.