Origins of life in a water puddle

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Origins of life in a water puddle

Anyone who’s ever noticed a water puddle drying in the sun has seen an environment that may have driven the type of chemical reactions that scientists believe were critical to the formation of life on the early Earth. Research reported July 15 in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition demonstrates that important molecules of contemporary life, known as polypeptides, can be formed simply by mixing amino and hydroxy acids – which are believed to have existed together on the early Earth – then subjecting them to cycles of wet and dry conditions. This simple process, which could have taken place in a puddle drying out in the sun and then reforming with the next rain, works because chemical bonds formed by one compound make bonds easier to form with the other.

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Research Horizons

Categories
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Life Sciences and Biology, Research
Keywords
amino acids, Early Earth, origins-of-life, polypeptides
Status
  • Created By: John Toon
  • Created On: Jul 19, 2015 - 4:35pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:58pm