Another Small Step In Understanding The Origins Of Life?

New research led by the American Museum of Natural History and funded by NASA identifies a process that might have been key in producing the first organic molecules on Earth about 4 billion years ago, before the origin of life. The process, which is similar to what might have occurred in some ancient underwater hydrothermal vents, may also have relevance to the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Details of the study are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. …

The researchers used their design to combine hydrogen with CO2to produce an organic molecule called formic acid (HCOOH). This synthetic process resembles the only known CO2-fixation pathway that does not require a supply of energy overall, called the Wood-Ljungdahl acetyl-CoA pathway. In turn, this process resembles reactions that might have taken place in ancient oceanic hydrothermal vents.

“The consequences extend far beyond our own biosphere,” Sojo said. “Similar hydrothermal systems might exist today elsewhere in the solar system, most noticeably in Enceladus and Europa — moons of Saturn and Jupiter, respectively — and so predictably in other water-rocky worlds throughout the universe.”

“Understanding how carbon dioxide can be reduced under mild geological conditions is important for evaluating the possibility of an origin of life on other worlds, which feeds into understanding how common or rare life may be in the universe,” added Laurie Barge from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an author on the study. …


Holy f. I just clicked on @peytonbirch and it also redirects to my own page.

What is going on?

Robert Hazen from the Carnegie Academy for Science has some very interesting live lectures on Youtube. (In case you don’t live in Wash, D.C.)

Abiogenesis of life from chemical interaction is not only possible, it is “necessary”, given the abundance of Elements present, the dynamic nature of the Universe, and infinite temporal permission.

This might be a good follow up