In the fall of 1952, Stanley Miller, now a chemistry professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), began simulating primitive earthly conditions in an experiment that produced the basic building blocks of life. When he published the results in Science on May 15 the following year, he kick-started research on the origin of life and transformed modern thinking on a dormant area of science.
Jeffrey Bada, a professor of marine chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, and an expert on origin of life processes, revisits the famous "Miller experiment" in a report published in the May 2 issue of Science.
"Up to Millers experiment there was a large vacuum in our understanding of how life began on the earth," said Bada, who coauthored the report with Antonio Lazcano, a scientist at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and is a visiting scholar at UCSD in Millers laboratory. "Up to that point no one had demonstrated how compounds like amino acids could be synthesized under possible early Earth conditions."
Mario Aguilera | EurekAlert!
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A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
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