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The gel-phase of water, since it ionized with a net charge, behaves like a magnet or a sponge for potassium ions, explaining why Sidney Fox's "proto cells" accumulate potassium up to 1600x the concentration in the medium, why cells selectively prefer potassium, and why salt solutions have higher surface tension than pure water. This theory has implications for the mechanism of osmosis.doi:10.5281/zenodo.3902216 fatcat:zpptncnttzcsxkq6cjgoqb2cha