It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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.
. . .
The question Reeves and his colleagues set out to test was whether methanethiol—a critical precursor of life – could form at modern day vent sites by purely chemical means without the involvement of life. Could methanethiol be the bridge between a chemical, non-living world and the first microbial life on the planet?
. . .
"What we essentially found in our survey is that we don't think methanethiol is forming by purely chemical means without the involvement of life. This might be disappointing news for anyone assuming an easy start for hydrothermal proto-metabolism," says Reeves. "However, our finding that methanethiol may be readily forming as a breakdown product of microbial life provides further indication that life is present and widespread below the seafloor and is very exciting."
reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
The problem with suggesting life originated off planet is that it only pushes the issue back a step. If life originated off planet because it would seem it didn't just spring out of a non-living chemical soup here on earth, then what makes anyone think it sprung out of a non-living chemical soup on another planet? Panspermia is an interesting and even plausible theory, but it does nothing to address the real origins of life.