Discovering the origins of life

25 Nov 2021

On the moment when something entirely new emerged from inanimate matter: The CRC “Emergence of Life” and the Deutsches Museum developed the game AEON.

It’s almost four billion years before the present day. The young Earth is not yet a very comfortable place, but it has cooled down. The comet and meteorite bombardment has left its mark, the collision with Mars-sized planet Theia created the Moon and the conditions for Earth’s magnetic field. Thick clouds now hang in the orange sky and the ocean resembles a greenish soup. There isn’t much land yet, just a few bare black rocks jutting out of the muddy water. But deep down in the ocean ­­— or perhaps somewhere else entirely — something is happening: the first life is emerging from simple biomolecules such as fatty acids and amino acids that come together to ­form membranes and RNA sequences. At some point, the smallest of all living things must have emerged: a first cell, enveloped and bounded by a membrane.


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