Hi, I’m Dr. Amit Kessel. I’ve prepared this website to provide basic and useful knowledge on the chemistry and origin of life to anyone interested in this field. This includes students, teachers, and laymen alike.

The topics include the following:

  • The origin of life on Earth: a discussion of how the molecules of life formed spontaneously from simple compounds on Earth, roughly 4 billion years ago, and how they eventually assembled into the first living cells roughly a few hundreds of million years later.
  • Methods used by scientists for studying the molecules of life, with emphasis on computational methods and tools – both biophysical (1, 2) and bioinformatic. These allow scientists to predict the structure, function, and dynamics of biomolecules, as well as to characterize their key features and the physical forces acting on them.


The information in these topics is largely adapted from two books that I co-wrote with Prof. Nir Ben-Tal from Tel-Aviv University (lab website):

  1. From Molecules to Cells: The Origin of Life on Earth: an eBook that discribes the chemical and molecular basis of living organisms and the current theories about the emergence of life on promordial Earth. A summary of some of the key ideas included in the book can be found on this page. You can find more on the book in this article, published in ASBMB Today.

On Kindle

(Link to the book on amazon.com)


2. An introduction to the world of proteins (1st edition, 2nd edition):


g(Book’s web-page)


Website map

I. Biochemistry & Cell biology

1. The molecules of life

2.  Proteins: Nature’s own nano-machines

3. Amino acids: Chemistry & Biochemistry

4. How Vitamins Work

4. How Life First Appeared on Earth

5. Biochemistry & molecular biology animations

6. Online exams in Biochemistry & Cell Biology

7. The living cell gallery

8. Research focus: antimicrobial peptides

9. Science links


II. Biophysics & Bioinformatics

1. Molecular biophysics

2. Computational methods & tools in biophysics

3. Databases & bioinformatic tools


The protein envelope of the deformed wing virus, which infects honey bees