Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 317, Issue 3–4, pp 267–278 | Cite as

Origin of Life

Invited Review

Abstract

The evolution of life has been a big enigma despite rapid advancements in the field of astrobiology, microbiology and genetics in recent years. The answer to this puzzle is as mindboggling as the riddle relating to evolution of the universe itself. Despite the fact that panspermia has gained considerable support as a viable explanation for origin of life on the earth and elsewhere in the universe, the issue, however, remains far from a tangible solution. This paper examines the various prevailing hypotheses regarding origin of life-like abiogenesis, RNA world, iron–sulphur world and panspermia, and concludes that delivery of life-bearing organic molecules by the comets in the early epoch of the earth alone possibly was not responsible for kick-starting the process of evolution of life on our planet.

Keywords

Abiogenesis Panspermia LUCA Microbes Thermophiles Extremophiles Cyanobacteria DNA RNA RNA world Iron–sulphur world Miller–Urey experiment Comets 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ministry of Statistics and Programme ImplementationNew DelhiIndia

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