Credit: Wired

How did life begin? Dividing droplets could hold the answer

The scientists studied the physics of “chemically active” droplets, which cycle chemicals in and out of the surrounding fluid, and discovered that these droplets tend to grow to cell size and divide, just like cells. This “active droplet” behavior differs from the passive and more familiar tendencies of oil droplets in water, which glom together into bigger and bigger droplets without ever dividing.

If chemically active droplets can grow to a set size and divide of their own accord, then “it makes it more plausible that there could have been spontaneous emergence of life from nonliving soup”.

Natalie Wolchover in Wired.