Author Topic: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing  (Read 1381 times)

Offline stromboli (OP)

http://mic.com/articles/88441/cambridge-study-reveals-how-life-could-have-started-from-nothing

Quote
One of the most challenging questions in basic biology and the history of evolution and life stems from the unknown origin of the first cells billions of years ago. Though many pieces of the puzzle have been put together, this origin story remains somewhat murky. But a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge believe they've accidentally stumbled on an answer, and a very compelling one at that.

The discovery: Through routine quality control testing, a researcher working with Markus Ralser, who would eventually become the lead researcher for the project, stumbled upon signs of the metabolic process where, for all intents and purposes, there shouldn't have been. Until now, much of the science community has generally agreed that Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, was the first building block of life because it produces enzymes that could catalyze complex sequences of reactions such as metabolic action. However, Ralser's lab found the end products of the metabolic process without any presence of RNA. Instead, the findings indicate that complex and life-forming reactions like these could occur spontaneously given the right, but surprisingly simple, conditions.

"People have said that these pathways look so complex they couldn't form by environmental chemistry alone," Rasler told NewScientist. "This is the first experiment showing that it is possible to create metabolic networks in the absence of RNA."

Testing: Because Rasler's team basically stumbled upon their initial findings, they repeated the process several times and were pleasantly surprised with repeat successful outcomes. So, taking things to the next level, Rasler began working with Cambridge's Earth sciences department to determine if these processes could have occurred in the Archean Ocean, the oxygen-free world, predating photosynthesis, which covered the planet almost 4 billion years ago.

"In the beginning we had hoped to find one reaction or two maybe, but the results were amazing," said Ralser. "We could reconstruct two metabolic pathways almost entirely."

If these metabolic pathways were occurring in the absence of RNA in conditions rich with iron and other metals and phosphate, it seems increasingly likely that life could have literally started from nothing and spontaneously formed in ways until now believed impossible.

So what? "I think this paper has really interesting connotations for the origins of life," says Matthew Powner at University College London. "For origins of life, it is important to understand where the source molecules come from."

Rasler's team has been the first to show that life could literally come from nothing. Of course, in the scientific community, this could be a major advancement, albeit one that is still only a part of an overall picture that's still forming through years of continuing research. However, these findings could also potentially play into the creationism versus evolution debate. One of the holes often poked by creationists is the complex and hard-to-explain idea of life started from nothing at all, and for the most part scientific explanations have been somewhat lacking. However, these findings indicate that something from nothing might not be as far-fetched idea as it seems.

Take THAT, Creationists! 

 :super: :wall: :hang: :clap:

Offline Mr.Obvious

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 03:41:33 PM »
Creationists before long: "Of course life can come from nothing; this is what the bible shows. God creates life from nothing. So you see the bible is the most scientifically accurate book out there; it preceded these findings by millenia."
E = Mc²

In the end, we are all standing in the dark,
trying to figure out why we are here.
But let us not choose one direction
without proof of where it is headed.

Check your pocket for matches
so we can observe and learn together
as fast friends and relative idiots.

Offline josephpalazzo

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 03:44:09 PM »
Good article... just the title is misleading. It should read, how life could have started from inert matter, which is not nothing.

Offline stromboli (OP)

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 04:43:11 PM »
Good article... just the title is misleading. It should read, how life could have started from inert matter, which is not nothing.

Gotcha.  :biggrin:

Offline SGOS

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 04:58:07 PM »
I keep thinking life is just the result of properties of matter.  But we are just much more enamored with that particular result that with other things that matter routinely does.

Offline josephpalazzo

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2014, 05:42:22 PM »
Not too long ago, someone posted an article showing that with just thermodynamic principles, inert matter will produce organic matter, IOW, this is a universal property of matter, and not an exception.

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2014, 10:07:45 PM »
No link or mention of where to find the published research, took a look and the data is unpublished. I'm not sure why he's talking to the press.

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 11:12:51 PM »
Good article... just the title is misleading. It should read, how life could have started from inert matter, which is not nothing.
My first thought also. What is the difference between an inert seed and a live seed? Life needs a liquid, an energy source, and carbon, as we know it; if the right combination of conditions are met for life, it starts spontaneously. That's why there is organic chemistry.  :hang: Solitary
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 11:20:34 PM by Solitary »
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 07:09:37 AM »
No link or mention of where to find the published research, took a look and the data is unpublished. I'm not sure why he's talking to the press.

http://www.biochemsoctrans.org/bst/042/0985/bst0420985.htm
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Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2014, 07:53:14 AM »
http://www.biochemsoctrans.org/bst/042/0985/bst0420985.htm

That's a summery from the Biochemical Society conference with no peer review, I guess they're waiting on data before they send it off for peer review and publication. Thanks for the link.

Re: Campbridge Study Reveals How Life Could Have Started From Nothing
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 11:17:54 AM »
Yes I'd bet this years bonus check that a paper is in the works, but I threw that out more as a he is discussing his findings with his peers and not just the press. Biochemical Society Transactions isn't exactly The National Enquirer.  :wink:
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