Insoluble organic matter - an "organic" cradle of life. Comment on the paper "Insoluble organic matter in chondrites: Archetypal melanin-like PAH-based multifunctionality at the origin of life?" by Marco d'Ischia et al.
"Organic chemistry without selection sinks into asphalt" says the frequently cited phrase by Steven Benner [1,2]. Indeed, the broad repertoire of polymeric molecules, termed as "insoluble organic matter" , found in meteoritic materials suggests that the synthesis of life's building blocks was accompanied by a massive production of polymers which were not directly involved in the processes leading to the emergence of life. Nevertheless, they were most likely present in the primordial pool in remarkable amounts, and as the paper by d'Ischia et al. suggests , they could be among nature's first choices to support survival of the simplest living entities in a hostile prebiotic environment present on the early Earth.