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Thread: Life "born" in mud 3.8 billion years ago

  1. #1 Life "born" in mud 3.8 billion years ago 
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    Haven't read the journal article but it sounds really neat. Evidence of life in 3.7 to 3.8 billion year old rock.

    "The researchers found these ancient rocks once were permeated with lukewarm alkaline fluids rich in carbonates. These liquids resemble those seen today in so-called serpentine mud volcanoes located in the deep sea near the Mariana Islands, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean formed by the summits of volcanoes; the conditions would have made the area off the coast of Greenland an especially friendly place for amino acids, helping keep them stable in the distant past. Amino acids are key ingredients of life, serving as the building blocks of proteins. "

    http://www.livescience.com/16580-mud...greenland.html


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  3. #2  
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    I don't read that article as 'evidence for life'. Just evidence for conditions that might have been OK for life.

    The earliest the first life might have formed is 4.5 billion years ago, just after the pounding that caused the moon to form. However, the first life clearly did not leave traces. The earliest "possible" fossil is some rock formations in Western Australia dated 3.6 billion years ago, that 'might' have been stromatolites. The earliest undeniable fossil was 2.8 billion years old.


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  4. #3  
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    Can amino acids survive "The Rock Cycle''?
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    Amino acids are not sufficient for life.

    Once needs a viable electron transport mechanism at the very least.
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    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    They are also found in the interstellar medium, in comets, and in meteorites and are a candidate molecule to act as a basis for the earliest forms of life

    PAH world hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The PAH world hypothesis is a speculative hypothesis that proposes that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), assumed to be abundant in the primordial soup of the early Earth, played a major role in the origin of life.

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the most common and abundant of the known polyatomic molecules in the visible Universe, and are considered a likely constituent of the primordial sea

    PAH's are not normally very soluble in sea water, but when subject to ionizing radiation such as solar UV light, the outer hydrogen atoms can be stripped off and replaced with a hydroxyl group, rendering the PAHs far more soluble in water.
    These modified PAHs are amphiphilic, which means that they have parts that are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. When in solution, they assemble in discotic mesogenic stacks which, like lipids, tend to organize with their hydrophobic parts protected.


    Columnar phase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The columnar phase is a class of mesophases in which molecules assemble into cylindrical structures to act as mesogens. Originally, these kinds of liquid crystals were called discotic liquid crystals because the columnar structures are composed of flat-shaped discotic molecules stacked one-dimensionally.

    The first discotic liquid crystal was found in 1977 by the Indian researcher Sivaramakrishna Chandrasekhar. This molecule has one central benzene ring surrounded by six alkyl chains. Since then, a large number of discoid mesogenic compounds have been discovered in which triphenylene, porphyrin, phthalocyanine, coronene, and other aromatic molecules are involved. The typical columnar liquid-crystalline molecules have a pi-electron-rich aromatic core attached by flexible alkyl chains. This structure is attracting particular attention for potential molecular electronics in which aromatic parts transport electrons or holes and alkyl chains act as insulating parts. The advantages of liquid-crystalline conductors are their anisotropy, processibility, and self-healing characteristics for structural defects
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    Quote Originally Posted by granpa View Post
    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    They are also found in the interstellar medium, in comets, and in meteorites and are a candidate molecule to act as a basis for the earliest forms of life

    PAH world hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The PAH world hypothesis is a speculative hypothesis that proposes that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), assumed to be abundant in the primordial soup of the early Earth, played a major role in the origin of life.

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the most common and abundant of the known polyatomic molecules in the visible Universe, and are considered a likely constituent of the primordial sea

    PAH's are not normally very soluble in sea water, but when subject to ionizing radiation such as solar UV light, the outer hydrogen atoms can be stripped off and replaced with a hydroxyl group, rendering the PAHs far more soluble in water.
    These modified PAHs are amphiphilic, which means that they have parts that are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. When in solution, they assemble in discotic mesogenic stacks which, like lipids, tend to organize with their hydrophobic parts protected.


    Columnar phase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The columnar phase is a class of mesophases in which molecules assemble into cylindrical structures to act as mesogens. Originally, these kinds of liquid crystals were called discotic liquid crystals because the columnar structures are composed of flat-shaped discotic molecules stacked one-dimensionally.

    The first discotic liquid crystal was found in 1977 by the Indian researcher Sivaramakrishna Chandrasekhar. This molecule has one central benzene ring surrounded by six alkyl chains. Since then, a large number of discoid mesogenic compounds have been discovered in which triphenylene, porphyrin, phthalocyanine, coronene, and other aromatic molecules are involved. The typical columnar liquid-crystalline molecules have a pi-electron-rich aromatic core attached by flexible alkyl chains. This structure is attracting particular attention for potential molecular electronics in which aromatic parts transport electrons or holes and alkyl chains act as insulating parts. The advantages of liquid-crystalline conductors are their anisotropy, processibility, and self-healing characteristics for structural defects
    How exactly does your wiki post prove an electron transport cycle necessary for life?
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  8. #7  
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    A bit of excessive hype on that article. If it were so "perfect" why is it not producing new life now? I'd not over interpret presence of these amino acids - they are not life.
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