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
New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
29.05.2017 | University of Bristol
A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences
29.05.2017 | Life Sciences
29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy