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Stuart
2002-Dec-04, 02:54 PM
I found the following article that describes a new theory of how life may have started on Earth.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2541393.stm

Basically it claims that living systems originated in so-called "inorganic incubators" - small compartments in iron sulphide rocks. Instead of the building blocks of life forming first, and then forming a cell-like structure, the researchers say the cell came first and was later filled with living molecules.

The proponents of this theory claim that one of the implications of this idea is that life on other planets or some large moons in our own solar system, like ice-crusted Europa - a moon of Jupiter - might be much more likely than previously assumed.

Assuming that this is correct how would we go about finding such life without hopelessly contaminating it? And what would we do with it when we found it?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Stuart on 2002-12-04 09:55 ]</font>

kucharek
2002-Dec-04, 03:02 PM
On 2002-12-04 09:54, Stuart wrote:
[...]
Assuming that this is correct how would we go about finding such life without hopelessly contaminating it? And what would we do with it when we found it?

Depends on its taste... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

SCNR

Russ
2002-Dec-04, 03:03 PM
I followed your link. All I can say is, their guess is as good as anybody else's.

I guess I can add that many of their assertions are a bit of a stretch for me.

nebularain
2002-Dec-04, 03:36 PM
The chicken came first!
No, the egg came first!
No, the chicken came first!
No, the egg . . . .

daver
2002-Dec-04, 05:27 PM
On 2002-12-04 10:36, nebularain wrote:
The chicken came first!
No, the egg came first!
No, the chicken came first!
No, the egg . . . .




Depends on whether you're a creationist or an evolutionist, doesn't it?

brianok
2002-Dec-04, 05:33 PM
I think the theory that life originated in clay to be the most plausible.

Here is a link:

http://ch-www.st-andrews.ac.uk/chemsoc/Lecture/2001-2002/G.Cairns.htm

nebularain
2002-Dec-04, 05:52 PM
On 2002-12-04 12:27, daver wrote:


On 2002-12-04 10:36, nebularain wrote:
The chicken came first!
No, the egg came first!
No, the chicken came first!
No, the egg . . . .

Depends on whether you're a creationist or an evolutionist, doesn't it?

Z-z-a-a-a-p-p! Hit by joke-deflater.

Under Dog
2002-Dec-05, 01:55 AM
Perhaps the first theory is also true about a molecule forming during earths volcanic period that replicated itself faster then it was destroyed (dna). Perhaps a strand of dna found its way to the bottom of the ocean floor and got caught inside one of these early empty cells. Interesting speculation.....

xriso
2002-Dec-05, 08:02 AM
Here's my scenario for the origin of life, based on the panspermia model and a certain sci-fi book: In the far future, a powerful missile was heading towards a ship. However, the ship's Improbability drive transported the missile back in time as a whale, falling towards a primordial Earth. The whale named the Earth "gROUND", and made friends with it, but unfortunately the whale died when it made contact with its new friend. Fortunately, the cells of that whale carcass provided the necessary molecules to kick-start life on Earth.

Stuart
2002-Dec-05, 02:58 PM
Yah, I read Hitchhiker's Guide as well - in fact I listened to the first broadcasts on BBC radio. Douglas Adams never did anything quite as good again.

However, the point that interested me about this was the suggestion that the new theory implied life may be much more common than previous theories had suggested - and that there could be other planets and relatively satellites close to us that support elementary life. It seems to me that finding and contacting (in the sense of understanding what they are and how they function) such life forms without contaminating them will be very hard.

Kaptain K
2002-Dec-08, 01:24 AM
On 2002-12-04 10:36, nebularain wrote:
The chicken came first!
No, the egg came first!
No, the chicken came first!
No, the egg . . . .
Come on! Everybody knows that the rooster came first! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

_________________
Be alert! The world needs more lerts.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Kaptain K on 2002-12-07 20:26 ]</font>