Life originated on the Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago. However, the scientists are still disputing over the possible sources of the life origin. The matter is that life on our planet evolved from the molecular level to the level of bacteria organisms within 0.5 - 1 billion years, this period being very short for such an important evolutionary step. The researchers are still racking the brains over this mystery. One of the popular hypothesis asserts that some germs of life have been brought to the Earth from space. But what exactly could have been brought from space and how could the germs have originated in space?
E.A. Kuzicheva and N.B.Gontareva, research assistants from the Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, have confirmed a possibility of abiogenous synthesis of complex organic compounds (monomeric units of nucleic acids) on the surface of comets, asteroids, meteorites and space dust particles in the outer space. Therefore, it is possible that the above monomeric units of nucleic acids could have got to the Earth and thus could have significantly reduced the time period of the evolution process. On the surface of space bodies the scientists have found all kinds of various organic molecules (amino acids, organic acids, sugars etc.) and the components required for their synthesis. Obviously, it is there that organic substances are being synthesised, but the researchers can not be sure of this fact, until the experiments confirm their assumptions. The scientists from St. Petersburg reproduced synthesis of one of the DNA components - 5`-adenosine monophosphate (5`-AMP) under the conditions specially designed to simulate the space environment. In order to synthesise 5`-AMP it is required to combine adenosine and inorganic phosphate. On the Earth the reaction goes in the solution, but there are no solvents whatsoever in space, therefore the researchers dried them in the air and got a pellicle. Synthesis requires energy. The major source of energy in the outer space both at present and in the prebiotic period of the Earth history has been the solar ultraviolet radiation of different wavelengths. Therefore, the pellicles were irradiated by a powerful ultraviolet lamp. Naturally, the synthesis was carried out in vacuum, and the researchers used the lunar soil, delivered to the Earth by the `Moon-16` station from the Sea of Abundance, as a model of the comet, meteorite, interplanetary or cosmic dust. The soil represented basaltic dust of the dark-grey colour, the diameter of its particles being less than 0.2 millimetres.
After 7-9 hours of ultraviolet irradiation of the dry pellicles the scientists acquired several compounds, mainly 5`-AMP, one of the DNA/RNA monomers. The energy of radiation does not promote synthesis alone, it also facilitates decomposition of the initial and newly-synthesised compounds, the more powerful the radiation is, the more extensively the decomposition goes. However, the lunar soil provided some protection. It has appeared that a small pinch of the lunar soil protects organic substances from the destructive ultraviolet impact - the lunar soil helps to increase the 5`-AMP yield by 2.7 times.
Natalia Reznik | alphagalileo
NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos
27.06.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.06.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.06.2017 | Life Sciences