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Thread: New Idea about Abiogenesis: ICE
Nov 1st, 2010 2:25 PM #1
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New Idea about Abiogenesis: ICE
The paper suggests that life could have sprung from icy slush covering a freshwater lake, rather than a broiling deep-sea hydrothermal vent or the “warm little pond” proposed by Charles Darwin. And perhaps the frigid, icy surfaces of other planets are not as barren as they appear, proposes the research team from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.
Scientists studying the origin of life have long been vexed by the problem of protecting and containing life’s starter molecules before the advent of the tidy compartments known as cells.
Previous work had shown that nooks and tiny crevices within ice could provide a cozy, safe place for the construction of an RNA molecule. As ice forms, pure water becomes crystallized, while salts and other bits of debris accumulate in watery pockets. These impurities lower the water’s freezing point, and the little pockets may remain unfrozen within an otherwise solid chunk.
To see if RNA could replicate within these liquid pockets, a team led by chemical biologist Philipp Holliger took test tubes of water and added salts and some of life’s presumed starter ingredients — an RNA molecule that can make reactions go, known as a ribozyme — and the building blocks this molecule would need to make a full copy of itself. Then they cooled the tubes to a range of temperatures.
Not only did the ribozymes go about their business of building RNA strands, but the reactions continued for much longer in the icy test tubes than at ambient temperatures, the team reports.
Interesting idea. I find it believable, but obviously much more has to be done in the field, and more work must be done on following this idea to its conclusion."I was put on trial twice near Y2K for acting like Jesus and claiming to be the Messiah. Its not everyday that a man parks a Chariot of Fire in front of a tomb and stands against the US government with a bow and razor tipped arrows over his shoulder. I wore a suit of armor and was protected by an invisible bubble and my sharp tongue was more than the judicial system could handle."Jake
"The toilet is more than a throne. It is a sacred chamber."-Anton LaVey, High Priest of Satanism
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