Is Carbon 60 the template for life? --how it all started on earth and around the universe
Fullerene and the Origin of Life http://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/41/20771.pdf
The role of carbon in the development of life and as the structural backbone of all organisms is universally accepted and an essential part of evolution. However, the molecular basis is largely unknown and the interactions of carbon with nitrogen and oxygen in space are enigmatic.
In 1985, the previously unknown form of carbon, coined fullerene, was discovered. We hypothesize that by virtue of the unique properties of fullerene, this hollow, ultra-robust, large, purely carbon molecule was the earliest progenitor of life. It acted as a stable universal biologic template on which small molecules spontaneously assembled and then formed, by further assembly, a surface mantle (here termed rosasome) of larger molecules.