Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Doubt Cast On Evidence of Life Originating Near Volcanic Sea Vents

page: 1
7

log in

join

posted on Apr, 9 2014 @ 01:24 PM
link   
One of the favored theories of the origins of life has just encountered a set back. The theory that metabolism began around deep sea vents has been a very popular one that now appears to face new obstacles. In response to this the researchers mention the increasingly promising theory of life having originated off planet.

Study tests theory that life originated at deep sea vents
phys.org...


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."


Here is another article providing a review of new methods for testing this particular theory for those who are interested;
Simulating how the Earth kick-started metabolism
phys.org...

Enjoy!

-FBB
edit on 9-4-2014 by FriedBabelBroccoli because: 101




posted on Apr, 9 2014 @ 02:16 PM
link   
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.

I did find the possibility that measuring methanethiol could be used as an indicator of microbial life on other worlds interesting. It would make the hunt for life under europa much easier if we could send a probe through a water plume and look for methanethiol. Not as exciting as finding a giant 8 eyed jovian space fish under the surface, but at least an indicator of possibilities.



posted on Apr, 9 2014 @ 03:05 PM
link   

DeadSeraph
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.


Yes. Panspermia explains, to me, how the Earth was seeded with microbial life so early in its formation and took most of its time to evolve complex life, and how remarkably resilient to space and hard radiation (including forming spore colonies) some bacteria/archae turned out to be when taken out to space---an environment which (without panspermia) no living thing on Earth had ever been subjected to. With panspermia, my thought is that some ancient genetic programs were activated, as the microbes which made it to Earth through space must have been very well adapted to being frozen in space but still alive.

But the true origin? The point is that perhaps on some other planet, the true Z'hadum of life, the original chemical conditions were quite different from early Earth, and if we knew what they were, then the chemistry and steps how that happened would have become more clear.

If panspermia is real, then life on other planets may look, at some basic biochemical level, not that different, you might still have basic DNA and RNA and archaic protein machinery.
edit on 9-4-2014 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2014 @ 07:57 PM
link   
Life is everywhere, all is life. Life is called consciousness.





new topics

top topics
 
7

log in

join