Hot springs may have served as a catalyst for the origins of life on Earth billions of years ago, a new study has suggested. The study, which is featured in Nature Communications Earth & Environment, suggests that primordial hot springs could have helped produce life from key molecules found within them.
To learn more about this, researchers at Newcastle University looked at how the earliest known life on Earth emerged from geological materials more than 3. 5 billion years ago. To study this, they mixed bicarbonate, hydrogen, and iron-rich magnetite under the same conditions you would find in a hot spring or hydrothermal vent.
The resulting reaction created a spectrum of organic molecules, including notable fatty acids up to 18 carbon atoms in length, the study highlights. This study was funded by the United Kingdom’s Natural Environmental Research Council and seeks to understand how the origins of life may have sprung up from these primordial springs.
The scientists theorize these same notable fat acids may have helped to create the first membranes of cells, which allowed life to arise from ancient springs. The team says that this particular piece of work is an important step in better understanding how the origins of life on Earth.
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And there have been many theories over the years. Some theorize that the origin of life on our planet came from space, from the various asteroids, comets, and meteorites that interacted with our planet during its earliest days.
And, of course, other theories are that life evolved from changes wrought on our planet itself, like this particular theory that everything began in the primordial hot springs of ancient times. These theories may help us understand the origins of life, but finding out more details will take time.
The post Hot springs were a catalyst for origins of life on Earth, study claims appeared first on BGR.