Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ORIGIN OF LIFE





From: Primordial synthesis of amines and amino acids in a 1958 Miller H2S-rich spark discharge experiment. Print March 21, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1019191108 PNAS March 21, 2011.
As everyone knows, the russian Oparin was the first to try to create organic life in the laboratory. Greater sophistication in such kind of experiments would be tried by Stanley Miller in 1953, recreating primordial terraqueous atmospheres and oceans enclosed in lab glass flasks containing gaseous mixtures of methane, hydrogen, water vapor and ammonia to which finally were applied electrical currents emulating artificial storms and chemical reactions that occur in a primordial organic soup. According to Miller, if life was generated by such kind of mix, the problem of the origin of life would be solved. It means that potential to generate spatial life would exist everywhere, especially on planets similar to ours. Miller does not continued his experiments because their generated many doubts. Today, Jeffrey Bada (Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego), a disciple of Miller, continues to conduct the same experiments with slight variations. Bada along with researchers from Mexico and USA, analyzed the same samples that Miller employed, using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and time-of-flight mass spectrometry, identifying 22 amino acids, 5 amines and 7 sulfur compounds. These results have allowed Bada suggest that the first amino acids were formed in active volcanic islets, when they were covered by more water.

ORIGEN DE LA VIDA

Como todos saben, el ruso Oparín fué uno de los primeros en intentar generar vida orgánica en el laboratorio. Una mayor sofisticación de tales experimentos sería intentada por Stanley Miller en 1953, recreando atmósferas terráqueas y océanos primordiales en frascos de vidrio de laboratorio donde encerró mezclas gaseosas de metano, hidrógeno, vapor de agua y amoniaco, a los que finalmente aplicó corrientes eléctricas a modo de tormentas artificiales simulando las reacciones químicas de una sopa orgánica primordial. Según Miller, si se lograra generar vida mediante esta mezcla el problema del origen de la vida estaría resuelto. Habria vida potencial especial por doquier, en especial en planetas similares al nuestro. Miller no continuó sus experimentos por haberse generado muchas dudas al respecto. Hoy, Jeffrey Bada (Scripp Institution of Oceanography/UC San Diego), discípulo de Miller, continúa realizando los mismos experimentos aunque con ligeras variantes. Bada conjuntamente con investigadores de México y USA, analizaron las mismas muestras de Miller empleando High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) y Time-of-flight mass spectrometry, identificando 22 amino acidos, 5 aminas y 7 compuestos orgánicos sulfurados. Estos resultados le han permitido a Bada sugerir que los primeros aminoácidos se formaron en islotes volcánicos activos, cuando estos estaban cubiertos por mas agua.

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