Professor Dr Armen Mulkidjanian and colleagues of Osnabruck University in Germany find that Charles Darwin may yet be proved right with the latter's suggestion that life may have begun "in some warm little pond". 

The first primitive cells germinated in pools of condensed vapour caused by underground hot water or steam bubbling near the surface of the planet, a study . . . published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows. This challenges the widespread view that life originated in the sea.

Researchers analysed evidence of key rock chemicals in ancient inland and marine habitats and compared them with a genetic reconstruction of Earth's first cells.

Physicist Professor Dr Mulkidjanian and colleagues discovered the oceans did not contain the best balance of ingredients to foster life. Instead the simplest cells assembled in inland "hatcheries" where - like the hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park today - volcanic processes actively vented vapour from the planet's interior.

Tags: Darwin, Mulkidjanian, Origin of Life

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Replies to This Discussion

 

Science has certainly proved the phenomenon of evolution and it may be too much to expect it to precisely find the location of the start of evolution. Also, what I heard a few years before has left some doubt in my mind, which Dr. Meaden may be able to clear.

It is known that clouds of life forming substances like formaldehyde are floating in the space. Probably based on this fact, somebody had said that some single cell life forms might have come to earth from space and then evolved further, in the Darwinian process of evolution, probably along with those that were on the earth itself. 

Then, recently, Indian astrophysicist  Dr. Narlikar and Indian Space Reacerch Organisation (ISRO) sent some baloons in the outer reaches of the atmosphere to search for such life forms. Of the several life forms they discovered there, there were four that do not exist on earth. This may be indicative of the fact that these life forms indeed might have come from outer space. The question then arises is that, have some of our ancestors indded come from the space?

Where can I find this information from Dr. Narlikar and Indian Space Research Organization. Seems like some extraordinary evolutionary news I have yet to hear. Please elaborate. Can't seem to find the statement about the four forms of life not found on earth.

Since the experiment was performed by an Indian person and an India organisation from Indian soil, it was well reported in Indian presss. I will try to find if the information is available elsewhere and let you know.

Ficking Chucken

Just google the name Jayant Narlikar and see the Wikipedia article on him.

During 1999-2003, Narlikar headed an international team in a pioneering experiment designed to sample air for microorganisms in the atmosphere at heights of up to 41 km. Biological studies of the collected samples led to the findings of live cells and bacteria, which introduced the possibility that the earth is being bombarded by microorganisms, some of which might have seeded life itself on earth.

I found the above in the article. It appears that he was leading an international team.

Well thats what they get paid for.

Full-text of National Academy of Sciences source here. Great article, not too jargon-rich for those of us less formally educated and lacking in any of the tabloid journalist embellishments.

Another thing to note, being that the primordial atmosphere lacked ozone...

Mulkidjanian et al.    

Very cool.

I am a staunch believer in science and totally committed scientific temperament. Every step that science moves forward, delights me.

From the perspective of such a common man, what appears to me is that research in cosmology is a wee-bit easier than research in evolution. A scientist can research cosmology by peering in to long distances and by application of mathematics. For example, mathematics led science to the need of finding cosmic microwave background and observation devices led us to obtain confirmation of the mathematics.

Evolution is a biological process that is not mathematical and researchers need to go back in time for their work, and no instruments can be devised for time travel. Likewise, mathematics is of less help. If Darwin still could formulate the theory of evolution, it must have been due to his genius. Life could have originated indeed in volcanic ponds.

Prof Mulkidjanian said under this scenario the ocean was invaded by life at a later stage following the emergence of chemical membranes.   

It is, however, not quite understood how life invaded the far-off oceans merely after the development of chemical membranes. Is it possible that life evolved in more than one place within some specific time span? It is possible that research in evolution may still bring some exciting news in future.

Interesting article, thanks for posting. It makes a lot of sense...I still remember my high school science book stating that anaerobic bacteria are our planet's oldest known inhabitants and that today they are limited to the few highly acidic environments left on our planet's surface (such as volcanos). The open ocean, with its abundance of oxygen, seems unlikely to have been the birthplace of these organisms. I've noticed that even today, organisms seem to arise is bodies of water that are warm and fetid.

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