Google Play icon

Study tests theory that life originated at deep sea vents

Share
Posted April 9, 2014
Study tests theory that life originated at deep sea vents
Clear hot spring fluids spew from a talc structure at the Von Damm vent field, a mile and a half beneath the Caribbean Sea. The researchers show that fluids emanating from Von Damm and other hot spring areas around the global mid-ocean ridge system contain a sulfur compound, methanethiol, that is indicative of pyrolysed subsurface life. The red laser dots are 10cm apart, for scale. Photograph courtesy of the Little Hercules ROV, NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Mid-Cayman Rise Expedition 2011. Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
One of the greatest mysteries facing humans is how life originated on Earth. Scientists have determined approximately when life began (roughly 3.8 billion years ago), but there is still intense debate about exactly how life began. One possibility – that simple metabolic reactions emerged near ancient seafloor hot springs, enabling the leap from a non-living to a living world – has grown in popularity in the last two decades.

Recent research by geochemists Eoghan Reeves, Jeff Seewald, and Jill McDermott at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is the first to test a fundamental assumption of this ‘metabolism first’ hypothesis, and finds that it may not have been as easy as previously assumed. Instead, their findings could provide a focus for the search for life on other planets. The work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Read more at: Phys.org

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
84,790 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. Top NASA Manager Says the 2024 Moon Landing by Astronauts might not Happen (September 19, 2019)
  2. How social media altered the good parenting ideal (September 4, 2019)
  3. What's the difference between offensive and defensive hand grenades? (September 26, 2019)
  4. Just How Feasible is a Warp Drive? (September 25, 2019)
  5. NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds an Ancient Oasis on Mars (October 8, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email