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Nature 266, 78 - 80 (03 March 1977); doi:10.1038/266078a0

Synthesis of phospholipids and membranes in prebiotic conditions

W. R. HARGREAVES, S. J. MULVIHILL & D. W. DEAMER

Department of Zoology, University of California, Davis, California 95616

IT is generally agreed that stable membranes were prerequisite to the assembly of the earliest self-replicating systems1–4. Phospholipids, which are ubiquitous in biological membranes and which self-assemble in aqueous environments into stable lipid bilayers and vesicles4, are obvious candidates for prebiotic membrane components. We report here the abiotic synthesis of various lipids, including membranogenic phospholipids.

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