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Scientists put forward a new theory for the origin of life on Earth

Myroslav SemenyukNews
Cyanide could have caused the formation of organic life on Earth
Cyanide could have caused the formation of organic life on Earth

Researchers in the United States have created a chemical reaction in the laboratory using cyanide that could have caused the formation of organic life on Earth 4 billion years ago. This discovery will also help in the search for signs of life on other planets.

This is reported by the BBC Science Focus magazine. Chemists from Scripps Research have found that a compound containing a carbon atom bonded to a nitrogen atom could have caused some of the first metabolic reactions on Earth, which resulted in the formation of carbon-based compounds from carbon dioxide.

Metabolic reactions are the reactions that create energy from food and are necessary to sustain life.

To make their discovery, the team focused on a series of chemical reactions that combine carbon dioxide and water. These are used to create more complex compounds necessary for life, known as the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle or r-TCA cycle.

The cycle is used by some bacteria that currently exist on Earth. But it is based on the use of complex proteins that had not yet formed on the planet 4 billion years ago.

Scientists have found a substance that could have played a role in the origin of life on Earth.

Previous studies have shown that some metals can cause the same reactions in very hot and very acidic conditions. But the Scripps team had a hunch that another chemical compound might also do so only under less extreme conditions observed on early Earth.

Since the scientists knew that cyanide was present in the atmosphere, they were able to map out a set of reactions that could potentially use this deadly chemical to make more complex organic molecules from carbon dioxide, and then tested them in the lab.

Unfortunately, the experiment does not provide conclusive evidence for cyanide's involvement in this process on early Earth. But it does offer a new perspective on the origin of life.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL, a change in the Earth's orbit could have triggered the emergence and development of a complex life form during the period of global glaciation, which lasted from 720 to 635 million years ago.

Message from the OBOZREVATEL team

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