connectVideoNASA scientists offer new clues about how life started on Earth, after the view of the origin of life on the ocean floor
NASA scientists offer new clues about how life started on Earth, after the view of the origin of life on the ocean floor in a lab.
A new NASA study has again the origin of life, the building of the ocean floors from 4 billion years ago, as mankind tries to understand how life began on Earth and where it can be found.
The study, conducted by astrobiologists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looks at how life began in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.
“Understanding how far you can go with only organic substances, and minerals before you have an actual cell is very important for understanding what types of environments life can arise from,” said Laurie Barge, the lead investigator, in a statement. “Also examine how things such as the atmosphere, the ocean and the minerals in the openings all the consequences that this can help you to understand how this is likely to have occurred on another planet.”
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Ship and her crew were able to restart the seabed by the filling of the cups with the mixtures that were similar to the primal ocean, including water, minerals and ammonia and pyruvate that are generally located in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. The mixture is heated to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, the oxygen is removed and they added iron hydroxide, or “green rust,” which was plentiful in the early days of the planet.
The green rust reacted with the traces of oxygen that were left, that have the amino acid alanine and alpha-hydroxy acid, lactate. Some researchers believe that this could combine (like Lego) and the creation of more complex molecules, which are then a precursor of life.
“We have shown that in the geological conditions similar to the early Earth, and perhaps to other planets, we can form amino acids and alpha hydroxy acids is a simple reaction under mild conditions that would have existed on the seabed,” Barge added in the statement.
While it is important to note NASA has made of life itself in the experiment, it does increase the probability that the hydrothermal vents may be elsewhere in the universe and a building block for life.
“If we get these hydrothermal vents here on Earth, possibly similar reactions can occur on other planets,” said JPL’s Erika Flores, co-author of the new study.
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“We have no concrete evidence of life elsewhere yet,” said Barge. “But the understanding of the conditions necessary for the life of the source can help limit the places we think life could exist.”
The implications of the research are huge, especially as new bodies discovered, with a number of the components for the host’s life.
In 2018, researchers discovered that Saturn’s moon Enceladus, the “building blocks for life,” after complex organic molecules were found on the natural satellite.
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A recently discovered exoplanet that orbits Barnard’s Star known as Barnard b, could have the potential for the existence of extraterrestrial life, as water exists somewhere on the planet. That is due to the possibility of geothermal heating, which could result in a ocean for the primitive life.