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We know quite well how life evolved from a single cell to people, trees and singing birds. But we don’t really know how that very first cell developed. We do know that this cell was build up out of molecules, and that precisely the right molecules came together in the exact right way in order to make the first primitive cell. But how that happened remains unknown.

That is why I am looking at sticky molecules that self-assemble spontaneously in little droplets, similar to what happened at the beginning of life. These droplets have a similar composition as our own cells, but they can’t multiply yet. I am trying to use chemical reactions to bring these droplets to life, so they transform into growing and multiplying primitive cells. Via this way I hope that chemistry can answer the question where the first cells came from.

WHERE DO OUR CELLS COME FROM?
EVAN SPRUIJT
Radboud University Nijmegen

We know quite well how life evolved from a single cell to people, but how this very first cell developed is still unclear. This cell was formed by molecules that came together just in the right way. Evan Spruijt tries to understand this process by mimicking it with small sticking drops.

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