Pre-Biotic Earth: A Scientific Experiment Essay

Submitted By bryanaa11
Words: 591
Pages: 3

The earth was once an anaerobic place. This pre-biotic planet had little or no oxygen in the atmosphere. Two scientists recreated the conditions of the pre-biotic earth with an experiment using series of flasks and tubes. Some of these conditions included reducing high radiation levels, high temperatures, and having electrical storms. The first thing that was done was that water was boiled down to form vapor, and then was mixed with methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. The mixture of these three gases were exposed to an electrical discharge (sparks) to reenact lightening. After, the mixture was cooled and after one week the mixture contained simple amino acids. Based on the findings, it was then figured that under the hypothesized conditions of pre-biotic earth, organic molecules can be formed. This was when the four processes needed for the spontaneous origin of life on earth were discovered. The first process was the non-living synthesis of the simple organic molecule. Organic synthesis requires the presence of a range or inorganic molecules and an energy source to combine them into organic forms. Some locations where synthesis organic molecules might occur are deep see vents, which are regions of the ocean floor where superheated water is released from the earth's crust. Another location are volcanoes, the volcano activity on land could provide thermal activity. Two more locations where synthesis in organic molecules might happen are alternative wet and dry conditions and space (meteorites). Comets are examples that contain a variety of organic molecules. The second process is that the organic molecules assemble into polymers making them a more complex molecule. The third process is the self-replication of the formed polymers. RNA had a role in the origin of life. RNA had two properties that would have allowed it to function. One is part of the third process and how RNA is able to self-replicate. RNA is able to store information just like DNA. The short sequences of RNA are able to duplicate other molecules of RNA. The second aspect of what RNA does is that it can act as a catalyst. The final process needed for a spontaneous origin of life on earth is the packaging of these molecules into membranes with an internal chemistry different from their surroundings. Living cells may have been preceded by protobionts with an internal chemical…