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Latest Abiogenesis Stories

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2009-12-14 12:24:57

A team of researchers from the Astrobiology Centre (INTA-CSIC) has shown that hydrogen cyanide, urea and other substances considered essential to the formation of the most basic biological molecules can be obtained from the salt Prussian blue. In order to carry out this study, published in the journal Chemistry & Biodiversity, the scientists recreated the chemical conditions of the early Earth. "We have shown that when Prussian blue is dissolved in ammoniac solutions it produces hydrogen...

2009-11-20 16:57:31

Appearing in the Nov. 27, 2009, issue (Vol. 284, No. 48) of JBC A key question in the origin of biological molecules like RNA and DNA is how they first came together billions of years ago from simple precursors. Now, in a study appearing in this week's JBC, researchers in Italy have reconstructed one of the earliest evolutionary steps yet: generating long chains of RNA from individual subunits using nothing but warm water. Many researchers believe that RNA was one of the first biological...

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2009-09-17 07:25:00

German scientists investigating the complex chemical mixture thought to be present in the early Earth's oceans have found that amino acids can be "Ëœcooked' into many other important chemical building blocks of life when embedded in salt crusts. Results of the laboratory experiments will be presented by Dr Stefan Fox at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam, Germany, on Thursday September 17. Approximately 4.5 - 3.8 billion years ago, the Earth was probably covered by a...

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2009-07-21 09:10:00

Life on Earth came from other planets. So concludes a major scientific article which will appear in the inaugural issue of the online science journal,  Cosmology. For thousands of years scientists and theologians have debated the origins of Earthly life. Surprisingly, most scientists and the Catholic Church are of the same mind and embrace the theory of "abiogenesis" also known as the "organic soup." In the Judeo-Christian Bible, the story of Genesis, it is stated: "And God said, Let the...

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2009-07-16 14:25:00

Findings may provide insight into the origins of life on Earth, and even the search for life on Mars Stromatolites are dome- or column-like sedimentary rock structures that are formed in shallow water, layer by layer, over long periods of geologic time. Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have provided evidence that some of the most ancient stromatolites on our planet were built with the help of communities of equally...

2009-06-12 08:53:32

A team of Scripps Research scientists has created a new analog to DNA that assembles and disassembles itself without the need for enzymes. Because the new system comprises components that might reasonably be expected in a primordial world, the new chemical system could answer questions about how life could emerge.The work, reported in the June 11, 2009 issue of Science Express, an advance, online publication of the journal Science, might also be a starting point on the way to exotic new...

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2009-05-26 13:38:38

Scientists have reported the discovery of formic acid at record levels in a meteorite that splashed into Tagish Lake in Canada in 2000. Formic acid is the simplest carboxylic acid. It is rich in carbon, and it has been linked to the origin of life. It is commonly found on Earth in the venom of bee and ant stings. Scientists reported that the meteorite revealed four times more formic acid than previously recorded in other meteorite samples. Researchers told BBC News that the cold temperatures...

2009-05-20 14:10:00

WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A NASA-funded study indicates that an intense asteroid bombardment nearly 4 billion years ago may not have sterilized the early Earth as completely as previously thought. The asteroids, some the size of Kansas, possibly even provided a boost for early life. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The study focused on a particularly cataclysmic occurrence known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, or LHB. This event occurred...

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2009-04-29 06:55:00

Comets have always fascinated us. A mysterious appearance could symbolize God's displeasure or mean a sure failure in battle, at least for one side. Now Tel Aviv University justifies our fascination "” comets might have provided the elements for the emergence of life on our planet. While investigating the chemical make-up of comets, Prof. Akiva Bar-Nun of the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University found they were the source of missing ingredients needed...

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2009-04-07 15:30:00

Cool Stars Have Different Mix of Life-Forming Chemicals Life on Earth is thought to have arisen from a hot soup of chemicals. Does this same soup exist on planets around other stars? A new study from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope hints that planets around stars cooler than our sun might possess a different mix of potentially life-forming, or "prebiotic," chemicals. Astronomers used Spitzer to look for a prebiotic chemical, called hydrogen cyanide, in the planet-forming material swirling...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'