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Obcells were first defined by Thomas Cavalier-Smith to represent the earliest proto-organism or form of life. According to Cavalier-Smith's theory for the origin of the first cell, two cup-shaped obcells or hemicells fused to make a protocell with double-lipid layer envelope, internal genome and ribosomes, protocytosol, and periplasm.


Cavalier-Smith T (2001). "Obcells as proto-organisms: membrane heredity, lithophosphorylation, and the origins of the genetic code, the first cells, and photosynthesis". J. Mol. Evol. 53 (4-5): 555–95. doi:10.1007/s002390010245. PMID 11675615.