Image Source: The Outfit.In another sign that the concepts normally explained by religion and mystical metaphors are set to be explained by science, a report circulated recently that biologists have been invited to CERN to investigate whether colliding particles provided the origins of life (Hat tip: Physics and Physicists). The mysteries of the Large Hadron Collider deepen. From the report at Wired:
When you think of Cern, the enormous particle accelerator under Geneva, you probably think of particle physics. But the institution is also helping out biologists too.
On 20 May, a small group of biologists and chemists arrived at Cern for a workshop from the institution's experts on how to organise a disparate community of research groups all over the world into a single scientific force. While much of the research at Cern is focused on the beginnings of the Universe, the delegates also held a discussion on the beginnings of life.
Much of the research in the field is currently focused on so-called "autocatalytic sets". These are groups of molecules that undergo reactions where all molecules mutually catalyse each other -- speed up the rate at which the reaction takes place. In this way, the sets are self-sustaining. It's believed that protocells emerged from such a system, but there's a significant question mark over how likely it is for these sets to occur randomly.