Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 563–570 | Cite as

Jeewanu, or the ‘particles of life’

The approach of Krishna Bahadur in 20th century origin of life research
  • Mathias GroteEmail author


Starting in the 1960s, the Indian chemist Krishna Bahadur, from the University of Allahabad, published on organic and inorganic particles that he had synthesized and baptized ‘Jeewanu’, or ‘particle of life’. Bahadur conceived of the Jeewanu as a simple form of the living. These studies are presented in a historical perspective and positioned within mid-20th century research on the origin of life, notably the so-called ‘coacervate theory’ of the Soviet biochemist Aleksandr I Oparin. The concepts of life proposed by Bahadur, Oparin and others are discussed from a historical standpoint.


Coacervates history of cell biology history of origin of life research Jeewanu Krishna Bahadur 



I would like to thank Vidyanand Nanjundiah (Bangalore) for his encouragement to expand a shorter essay on Jeewanu which has been published in a festschrift volume in honour of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Berlin, 2011). Moreover, I owe my thanks to Christina Brandt (Berlin/Bochum), Anindita Nag (Berlin), Dhruv Raina (New Delhi) and James E Strick (Lancaster, PA) for hints and helpful suggestions. This work was funded by a research fellowship of the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis) at the University of Exeter, UK, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Egenis, University of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.Institut für Philosophie, LiteraturWissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte, Technische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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