Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 235-242

The 1953 Stanley L. Miller Experiment: Fifty Years of Prebiotic Organic Chemistry

  • Antonio LazcanoAffiliated withFacultad de Ciencias, Cd. Universitaria Email author 
  • , Jeffrey L. BadaAffiliated withScripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego

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The field of prebiotic chemistry effectively began with a publicationin Science 50 years ago by Stanley L. Miller on the spark discharge synthesis of amino acids and other compounds using a mixture of reduced gases that were thought to represent the components of the atmosphere on the primitive Earth. On the anniversary of this landmark publication, weprovide here an accounting of the events leading to the publication of the paper. We also discuss the historical aspects that lead up to the landmark Miller experiment.

prebiotic chemistry reducing atmosphere Streckersynthesis electric discharges