Researchers Cook Up Chemical Reactions in Primordial SoupJuly 02, 2019 / Written by: News Wise
Left: Spark in Miller-Urey apparatus. Right: Reaction involving the complex organics from a Miller-Urey experiment with a nitrogen heterocycle. Credit: Karen Smith / Boise State University
Newswise — In the 1950s, when chemist Stanley Miller created the experiment that would eventually bear his name – the Miller-Urey experiment – he was trying to simulate conditions of early Earth. In a glass sphere filled with methane, water vapor, ammonia and hydrogen (representing Earth’s early atmosphere), electrodes sparked to simulate lightening and the apparatus alternately heated and cooled its contents. After one week, a jet black solution formed. From this complex primordial soup, Miller made an incredible discovery: the solution that he collected contained multiple amino acids – the building blocks of proteins.
While there has been significant progress made towards understanding the origin of life since Miller’s landmark experiment, many studies have utilized experiments involving isolated reactions, favorable reaction conditions and a deft hand in the laboratory. Yet how the building blocks of life arose in the complex environments thought to be prevalent on early Earth is still a mystery.
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Read the full report here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45310-z
Source: [Boise State University]
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