I stopped in for a press briefing today on the origins of life. It’s one of the few talks I’ve seen at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting that had no cells in it whatsoever. One of the great questions of our time has been how complex molecules began to aggregate in meaningful ways and pitch forward into something that could be recognized as life. The Stanley Miller experiments helped establish the idea that some primordial soup gave rise to complex interacting organisms. But folks have recongized that in a vast sea – or even a small puddle, interactions wouldn’t be energetically favourable or concentrated enough to get anywhere.