A Possible Mechanism of Cell-Wall Formation


GOLDACRE1 has shown that if a surface film of a lipo-protein on water is compressed, it tends to form folds and ultimately cigar-shaped fibres consisting of a double lipo-protein layer with water inside and outside. It was suggested that such fibres could have been a reaction-space for the original formation of living cells. Danielli2 formed double lipo-protein layers by dropping dense protein solution through an oil layer into a less-dense protein solution. In this case, the film was spherical in shape and included a layer of oil. Sigwart and Nassenstein3have formed spherical shells of water in benzene by ejecting benzene drops from a nozzle preferentially wetted by water.


  1. 1

    Goldacre, R. J., “Surface Phenomena in Chemistry and Biology”, edit. Danielli, Pankhurst, and Riddiford, 278 (Pergamon Press, London, 1958).

  2. 2

    Danielli, J. F., J. Cell. Comp. Physiol., 7, 393 (1936).

  3. 3

    Sigwart, K., and Nassenstein, H., Z. ver. deut. Ing., 98, 453 (1956).

  4. 4

    Baird, M. H. I., Trans. Farad. Soc., 56, 213 (1960).

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BAIRD, M. A Possible Mechanism of Cell-Wall Formation. Nature 188, 514 (1960). https://doi.org/10.1038/188514a0

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