Vladimir Kompanichenko

Kompanichenko Vladimir

Institute for Complex Analysis RAS, Birobidzhan, Russia
Leading research scientist at the institute, researching into the Origin of Life, Astrobiology, Biogeochemistry, Volcanology and Molecular Biology. Vladimir’s highest achievement is an elaboration of the “inversion” concept of the origin of life on Earth and other planets. The concept proposes that the transition of a non-living prebiotic system (organic microsystems and their cluster) into an initial living system (primary microorganisms and their population) is possible only through thermodynamic inversion, when free energy and information within the system begins to concentrate faster than entropy depreciates them. Hence it follows that a living system cannot arise only as a result of boundless chemical complication in the course of prebiotic evolution. According to the concept of inversion, such a transition occurs through an enhanced and targeted response of the organic prebiotic system to high-frequency oscillations of physicochemical parameters (ie, to periodic "stress") in a nonequilibrium environment. During this transition, the prebiotic system passes through an intermediate state between “non-life” and life, when the contributions of free energy and information, on the one hand, and entropy, on the other, are relatively balanced (Figure 1). The most suitable medium for the transition to life is hydrothermal fluid, which migrates from the subsurface zones of the Earth's crust to the surface in an oscillatory manner. The chemical composition of a prebiotic microsystem should include the following key components necessary, in accordance with this concept, for its transition to life: a) lipid membrane; b) inclusions of protein macromolecules in the nascent cell membrane (to ensure communication with the environment, including the mandatory export of entropy and maintenance of the optimal internal K+ / Na+ balance; c) peptides and nucleic acids, the interaction of which ensures the accumulation of biological information and the synthesis of new peptides necessary for growth and self-reproduction of primary living cell.