SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Did Life's First Cells Evolve in Geothermal Pools?
from Scientific American
Earth started as a violent place, its surface churned by continuous volcanic eruptions and
cloaked in an atmosphere that would have been poisonous to today's life-forms. Furthermore, the
thin primeval atmosphere may have provided only scant protection from the young sun's harsh
ultraviolet glare. Given these inhospitable conditions, scientists have long wondered: How did
the first cells come to be nearly four billion years ago?
Conventional scientific wisdom holds that life arose in the sea. But a new study suggests that
the first cells--or at least the ones that left descendants still extant--got their start in
geothermal pools, like those seen at Yellowstone National Park and other geologic hot spots
The argument rests on one indisputable observation--enzymes common to all archaea and bacteria
are built from potassium, phosphorus or zinc, not sodium.
Connect With Us:
Audio: Using Computing to Advance Toxicology
Chemicals have changed our lives, providing new products and capabilities, but sometimes causing harm to ourselves and the environment... (click the link above to read more).
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia."
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.