Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 347–350 | Cite as

From Light to Life

  • Paul G. FalkowskiEmail author


The biogeochemical cycles of H, C, N, O and S are coupled via biologically catalyzed electron transfer (redox) reactions far from thermodynamic equilibrium. In this paper I examine the evolution of the structural motifs responsible for redox reactions (the biological “transistors”) across the tree of life, and the photogeochemical reactions on minerals that ultimately came to be the driving force for these biological reactions.


Redox Transition metals Protein structures 



Our research is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant GBMF2807 to Paul Falkowski and by Grant 0940187 from the National Science Foundation Grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Program, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Department of Marine and Coastal SciencesRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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