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Chemists learn more about how life started on earth?

  1. Mar 18, 2015 #1
    Chemists claim to have solved riddle of how life began on Earth

    Here is the journal article

    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2015 #2
  4. Mar 18, 2015 #3


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    Nope. The study does not claim to have solved the origin of life as the headline claims (to be fair, the headline is PhysOrg's fault, as I'm sure the authors of the study would not make that claim). The study does present a set of reactions that could potentially serve as the origin of biomolecules on Earth, which is still quite an impressive and important feat. The origin of life – how these biomolecules might organize into a living system – is a separate but related issue that is not addressed in the study.

    There are reasons to think that the proposed sequence of reactions may not have been plausible on early Earth (for example, this article cites a researcher who questions whether high enough concentrations of cyanide would have been available), and there are other hypotheses for how these molecules could have formed (for example, a recent study used lasers to simulate the conditions of a meteorite impact and showed that such conditions could promote the formation of the nucleobases from formamide, though Sutherland's paper has the advantage in that his scheme produces nucleosides, not just nucleobases). This is very much an open area of research, and it will certainly take much thought and debate to sort through the various hypotheses out there.
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