Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Origin of Life on Earth

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1790

The origin of life on Earth is related to the time when the earliest organic cell was formed. In 1953, Miller first simulated the atmospheric conditions of the early Earth and mixed H2, CH4 or H2O, CO2, N2 and CO in a solution to create amino acids, HCN and formaldehyde through sparking or ultraviolet radiation. However, it is still uncertain how these materials combined to form complex molecules such as RNA and evolve into living cells. RNA research is important for exploring the origin of life. RNA molecules can split and produce enzymes, which can promote reproduction. At temperatures of approximately 40 °C and pH 7.5–9 in the laboratory, a solution with Mg2+ can cause RNA division. These conditions may have existed near the vents at mid-ocean ridges of the Archean seafloor hydrothermal system. Some RNA can breed with other species and form cell membranes to wrap protocells. The CH4 and NH3in the hot water vents can mix to form amino acids and then form deoxyribonucleic acid. The...

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