A photo from open sources
Meteor bombing created ideal conditions for the simultaneous occurrence of RNA and proteins, which subsequently were enclosed in lipid membranes donated by them the same space wanderers. Can planet Earth be called homeland of earthly life? Paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee from Texas University of Technology (USA) stands on what embryos lives fell from heaven and sprouted here already – in the furnace of primitive the underworld. Thanks to the constant bombardment of the earth surface comets and meteorites 4 billion years ago, in an era initial planet formation that arose after collisions large craters not only contained water and basic chemical building materials for life, but also served as beautiful crucibles, in which these substances were concentrated and prepared for the creation of the first simple organisms. Photo from open sources Primary broth (illustration Christophe Kiciak). Mr. Chatterjee is best known as dinosaur and pterosaur specialist but as soon as it turned out that in reality he is most interested in analysis and synthesis of theories of chemical evolution explaining geological processes at the dawn of the Earth. “This is the holy grail of science, to which we all strive for, “he explains. Looking for the remains ancient creatures, the paleontologist casually discovered the Shiva crater at the bottom Indian Ocean West Of Mumbai City. If this structure really has a shock origin (and this has not yet been proven), then it was created by a meteorite with a diameter of about 40 km, which fell, which is interesting, almost simultaneously (from a geological point of view) with the one that formed the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Perhaps that kind of meteor shower became one of the main causes of the extinction of dinosaurs and many other animals about 65 million years ago. Random or not, but meteorites became the main characters and a new concept of the scientist, as if he felt obligated to prove that heavenly guests were not only they take life, but also give it. Having studied three locations in which found the oldest fossils known to science, he came to the conclusion that it was meteorites and comets that brought everything to Earth necessary ingredients, and also created suitable conditions for the origin of life. In general, the first unicellular organisms were born in hydrothermal pools. “Four and a half billion years ago the newly formed Earth was sterile and unsuitable for living, explains Mr. Chatterjee. – She was a boiling cauldron: volcanoes erupted, walked meteor showers, hot poisonous gases enveloped the surface. Just a billion years later it was already serene, covered in water a planet teeming with microbes – the ancestors of all living things. ” The discussion about the origin of life traditionally revolves around chemical evolution of cells from organic molecules by natural processes. Mr. Chatterjee distinguishes four stages complications of these processes: space, geological, chemical and biological. At the space stage (4.1–3.8 billion years ago) has not yet finally formed Earth and the entire solar system together it was daily treated with asteroids and comets. Tectonics plates, wind and water have long erased the traces of that turbulent time, but ancient craters preserved on the surface of Mars, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, allow you to judge how heavy it was bombardment. Ideal crucibles, according to Mr. Chatterjee, became craters with a diameter of about 550 km. The meteorites that formed them were so large that they had to break through the earth’s crust, creating thereby volcanoes and geothermal vents. Substances they brought concentrated and polymerized under these conditions. Scientist sure that those places in Greenland, Australia and South Africa where the oldest rocks containing fossils were found are the remnants of such craters – deep, dark and hot. Because the Earth is fortunate to be at an ideal distance from the sun, the comets that broke here became a source of water and additional ingredients. And now we go to the geological stages: craters filled with water, geothermal activity heated her, convection arose – the water was constantly moving, mixed, turning into a solid primitive broth. “The geological phase is a period of very dark, hot and isolated media with hydrothermal systems that served incubators of life, emphasizes Mr. Chatterjee. – occurred segregation and concentration of organic molecules by convective streams. Something similar we are observing now at the bottom of the oceans, but just like that. It was a bizarre world, it would seem to us stinky underworld, shrouded in hydrogen sulfide, methane, monoxide nitrogen and steam, but that was the energy that supported life. ” Then the chemical stage began. The heat that shook the water inside craters, mixed chemicals and caused transformation simple compounds into larger and more complex ones. Most likely pores and pool cracks played the role of “forests”, on which the most simple RNAs and proteins. Contrary to the widespread hypothesis of that RNA first appeared, and then proteins, Mr. Chatterjee believes that they arose simultaneously – where they were protected from external influences. “A world in which RNA and proteins coexist, more suitable for environments with hydrothermal vents than the RNA world, – justifies the scientist. – RNA molecules are very unstable. In conditions geothermal activity they must quickly disintegrate. That they could calmly reproduce and metabolize, we need certain catalysts and simple proteins are great at this role. And then, the amino acids that make up proteins, it’s easier to form than the components of RNA. “The question remains, how protein and RNA material floating freely in broth, invented to defend themselves from external influences using membranes. Mr. Chatterjee trusts here the David Dreamer hypothesis of University of California (USA), which believes that membrane the material was already present in the “soup”. This scientist managed to isolate fatty acid vesicles from the Merchison meteorite, which fell in 1969 in Australia. Cosmic Fat Bubbles Are Really Similar on cell membranes. “Meteorites are what brought lipids to Earth, ”Mr. Chatterjee is convinced. – This material floated on water surfaces, and convection currents carried away from time to time him to the depths. This process went on for millions of years, and at the end ends, simple RNAs and proteins ended up enclosed together inside these capsules. They began to interact, and over time, RNA spawned DNA is a more stable compound. A genetic code has appeared, and the first cells began to divide. “The final stage is biological – implies the emergence of reproducing cells that learned to store, process and transfer genetic information to descendants. The latter formed the most fantastic combinations of genes, and countless cells ended in nothing until the right path of replication was found. So evolution arose in Darwinian understanding of it, and with it biology is the culmination space, geological and chemical processes. Mr. Chatterjee believes that modern RNA viruses and protein-rich prions, fatal diseases can be evolutionary heritage of primitive RNA and proteins. Perhaps they are the oldest cell particles preceding the first cell life. how this last one just appeared, RNA viruses and prions are outdated, but survived by betting on a parasitic lifestyle. Of course the scientist understands perfectly well that any such theory, however logical it may seem, needs experimental confirmation, and he is ready to participate in experiments on the reconstruction of the ancient prebiological world in order to confirm or disprove your fabrications. Just try to create protocell from RNA viruses and prions enclosed in membranes … Research Results Presented at 125th Annual Conference Geological Society of America in Denver. Prepared by Texas Tech University. Image on screensaver belongs to Shutterstock.
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