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protocells




vesicles
Encapsulating structures, or vesicles, made of simple membrane-forming material which could have self-assembled in the protobiological environment. The presence of such membrane-forming material in carbonaceous chondrites is consistent with this idea. Moreover, recent experiments have shown that vesicular lipid bilayer structures can grow by spontaneous addition of membrane-forming material from the surrounding medium, and can encapsulate both ions and macromolecules.


Related entry

   • origin of cell membranes


Related category

   • ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF LIFE