Clay Minerals and the Origin of Life

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This volume is the edited proceedings of a conference seeking to clarify the possible role of clays in the origin of life on Earth. At the heart of the problem of the origin of life lie fundamental questions such as: What kind of properties is a model of a primitive living system required to exhibit and what would its most plausible chemical and molecular makeup be? Answers to these questions have traditionally been sought in terms of properties that are held to be common to all contemporary organisms. However, there are a number of different ideas both on the nature and on the evolutionary priority of 'common vital properties', notably those based on protoplasmic, biochemical and genetic theories of life. This is therefore the first area for consideration in this volume and the contributors then examine to what extent the properties of clay match those required by the substance which acted as the template for life.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCING CLAY A G CairnsSmith
13
STRUCTURES AND FORCES
39
CLAY SYNTHESIS
64
CLAYS ON THE EARLY EARTH
79
Precambrian clays
89
Dysoxic environments as models for primordial
97
CLAYS IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM
105
Clays and organic matter in meteorites
116
CLAYS AS CATALYSTS
130
CLAYS AS GENES?
138
A conversation
159
REFERENCES
172
INDEX
188
Copyright

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Page 183 - Interlayer and intercalation complexes of clay minerals. In: Crystal Structures of Clay minerals and their X-ray identification.

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