New Research Rejects 80-Year Theory of 'Primordial Soup' as the Origin of Life

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New Research Rejects 80-Year Theory of 'Primordial Soup' as the Origin of Life

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Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won't work at all," said team leader Dr Nick lane from University College London. "We present the alternative that life arose from gases (H2, CO2, N2, and H2S) and that the energy for first life came from harnessing geochemical gradients created by mother Earth at a special kind of deep-sea hydrothermal vent -- one that is riddled with tiny interconnected compartments or pores

 

read more at Some one drank the soup
 


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Adventfred

Adventfred wrote:

Quote:
Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won't work at all," said team leader Dr Nick lane from University College London. "We present the alternative that life arose from gases (H2, CO2, N2, and H2S) and that the energy for first life came from harnessing geochemical gradients created by mother Earth at a special kind of deep-sea hydrothermal vent -- one that is riddled with tiny interconnected compartments or pores

 

read more at Some one drank the soup
 

Life essentially arose from amino acids. Period. In fact, life still does arise from amino acids this very moment. It's the question of how the 20 (I think it's 20) amino acids  arose from essentially non-living materials, that defies a clear answer. (But then, many things about natural history defy a quick and easy answer- I suppose that's what makes such subject matter a worthwhile pursuit)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Adventfred


Kapkao wrote:

Adventfred wrote:

Quote:
Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won't work at all," said team leader Dr Nick lane from University College London. "We present the alternative that life arose from gases (H2, CO2, N2, and H2S) and that the energy for first life came from harnessing geochemical gradients created by mother Earth at a special kind of deep-sea hydrothermal vent -- one that is riddled with tiny interconnected compartments or pores

 

read more at Some one drank the soup
 

Life essentially arose from amino acids. Period. In fact, life still does arise from amino acids this very moment. It's the question of how the 20 (I think it's 20) amino acids  arose from essentially non-living materials, that defies a clear answer. (But then, many things about natural history defy a quick and easy answer- I suppose that's what makes such subject matter a worthwhile pursuit)

 

agreed 

i see it as when it comes to the origin of life there are many possible ways it could have begun 

so the soup theory may still be correct even if others come along 

but lets see how thiis goes 


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Kapkao wrote:how the 20 (I

Kapkao wrote:

how the 20 (I think it's 20) amino acids  arose from essentially non-living materials

 

There are hundreds of amino acids in nature, but only 22 proteinogenic ones (out of which 20 are common).

However, it isn't much of a mystery how they form. The standard particle model of physics pretty much gives it up. Amino acids are being formed in clouds of cosmic dust all over the universe - and it seems inevitable that these will later arrange themselves into an ever increasing pattern of even more complicated structures at every time and in every place the conditions for this evolutionary step is feasible.

My personal beef with the concept of "life" is that we assign it to organic molecular structures that are arranged into complex and self replicating systems only. Thus we form the peculiar idea that "life" is something local and exclusive that either A) "just happens" or B) is created by a supernatural being, whereas if we did away with the artificial division line between living and non-living, we would arrive at a more wholesome perspective of the situation, as it were.

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Marquis wrote:Kapkao

Marquis wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

how the 20 (I think it's 20) amino acids  arose from essentially non-living materials

 

There are hundreds of amino acids in nature, but only 22 proteinogenic ones (out of which 20 are common).

However, it isn't much of a mystery how they form. The standard particle model of physics pretty much gives it up. Amino acids are being formed in clouds of cosmic dust all over the universe - and it seems inevitable that these will later arrange themselves into an ever increasing pattern of even more complicated structures at every time and in every place the conditions for this evolutionary step is feasible.

My personal beef with the concept of "life" is that we assign it to organic molecular structures that are arranged into complex and self replicating systems only. Thus we form the peculiar idea that "life" is something local and exclusive that either A) "just happens" or B) is created by a supernatural being, whereas if we did away with the artificial division line between living and non-living, we would arrive at a more wholesome perspective of the situation, as it were.

 

i agree with you but what do you think it would be 


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I like this

Marquis wrote:

My personal beef with the concept of "life" is that we assign it to organic molecular structures that are arranged into complex and self replicating systems only. Thus we form the peculiar idea that "life" is something local and exclusive that either A) "just happens" or B) is created by a supernatural being, whereas if we did away with the artificial division line between living and non-living, we would arrive at a more wholesome perspective of the situation, as it were.

 

Way of thinking about the issue - it makes good sense to me and eliminates the whole ignition point of organic life that theists love so well. There's no way that in a natural system things would be on/off - alive/dead.

Rotifers, viruses and bacteria all have the ability to "die" as a defense mechanism. Makes me wonder what sort of definition of life we should be taking into account. Is a self replicating organism life or does the term include potential and thus encompass shut down viruses, seed pods and fertilised eggs? I think as the Marquis is suggesting, the true definition of what lives should be measured on a broad scale and is much bigger than we generally consider. 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Animism

I guess you can say I am an animist. I call that sexed-up atheism.

This means that I think of everything - including "dead matter" - as alive. Existence = life. From the smallest specks of theoretical objects - superstrings - to the universe itself, it is all alive. And what this life does, as far as we can see, is to arrange and rearrange itself in and out of various levels of systems that can appear as well inert as dynamic. Primary particles seek together to form subatomic objects, then atoms and elements, which later arrange themselves into molecular structures, ever seeking towards the maximum complexity which the present conditions will allow. Here on earth, this means "organic life" and a multitude of seemingly independent "forms". In outer space, it may mean dust clouds, galactic clusters, or even things we don't know about. Yet.

Personally, I find the biologistic deterministic idea of "organisms" as the prerequisite (and limitation) for life to be really rather anal retentive and unimaginative, if not outright small minded and chauvinistic.

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Marquis wrote:However, it

Marquis wrote:
However, it isn't much of a mystery how they form. The standard particle model of physics pretty much gives it up. Amino acids are being formed in clouds of cosmic dust all over the universe - and it seems inevitable that these will later arrange themselves into an ever increasing pattern of even more complicated structures at every time and in every place the conditions for this evolutionary step is feasible.

 

My personal beef with the concept of "life" is that we assign it to organic molecular structures that are arranged into complex and self replicating systems only. Thus we form the peculiar idea that "life" is something local and exclusive that either A) "just happens" or B) is created by a supernatural being, whereas if we did away with the artificial division line between living and non-living, we would arrive at a more wholesome perspective of the situation, as it were.

 

Interesting thoughts. We know that the chemicals that we think of as relevant to life can be found in space, in Miller Urey experiments and now the article in the OP provides yet another way that they could arise.

 

That coupled with the fact that the universe is pretty much the same everywhere that we look suggests that life as we know it probably is inevitable in any environment that can support the right mix of chemicals. I would even go a step past that and say that something fairly similar probably happens in places that would kill anything on our planet.

 

Perhaps on some other planet that has a much higher atmospheric pressure that would break down the amino acids that we tend to favor might support enough of the other amino acids that are known to exist. Then we might find that life based on a slightly different chemistry is indeed possible.

 

I would even be willing to say that there may be chemical environments which are entirely different from our own that could generate what we probably ought to call life. We just have not found such an environment yet.

 

We look to carbon as critical because it can generate so many complex chemicals in our own environment but it can probably do that in radically different conditions as well. Perhaps on a planet that has an ocean of liquid methane.

 

For that matter, carbon is not the only element that can form complex molecules. Astronomers recently found an exoplanet that has the right range of temperatures for iron to pool as a liquid, vaporize and possibly rain back in liquid form. Sure, even if we allow for interstellar travel, we will never set foot on such a planet but that does not mean that complex chemistry is forbidden to such an environment.

 

All of the wool gathering aside, I would also agree that it is pretty much a bad idea to say that life could be an is/is not dichotomy. Abiogenesis would be a process where complex chemicals form from simpler ones. At some point, it is probable that one could look at some sample and say that it meets a reasonable definition of life. However, what about another sample that is, say, half as complicated? Complicated chemistry is going on in such a sample but is it alive?

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
viruses

 

In truth, viruses is the dominant life form on earth.

Tiny as they are - you need about 50,000 rhino viruses (the common cold) to reach across the head of a pin - there are still so many of them on earth that if you were to lie them all down, head to toe (so to speak), they would form a line that is 200 million lightyears long. (And that's todays fun fact about life on the far side.)

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Marquis wrote:Kapkao

Marquis wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

how the 20 (I think it's 20) amino acids  arose from essentially non-living materials

 There are hundreds of amino acids in nature, but only 22 proteinogenic ones (out of which 20 are common).

However, it isn't much of a mystery how they form. The standard particle model of physics pretty much gives it up. Amino acids are being formed in clouds of cosmic dust all over the universe - and it seems inevitable that these will later arrange themselves into an ever increasing pattern of even more complicated structures at every time and in every place the conditions for this evolutionary step is feasible.

My personal beef with the concept of "life" is that we assign it to organic molecular structures that are arranged into complex and self replicating systems only. Thus we form the peculiar idea that "life" is something local and exclusive that either A) "just happens" or B) is created by a supernatural being, whereas if we did away with the artificial division line between living and non-living, we would arrive at a more wholesome perspective of the situation, as it were.

The 'Xenogenesis' theory? (I forget what it's actually called)

Also, what exactly (in this case) is the "standard particle model", as it is used in your post?

My knowledge of molecular biology is, frustratingly, quite low.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Marquis

Marquis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
viruses

 

In truth, viruses is the dominant life form on earth.

Tiny as they are - you need about 50,000 rhino viruses (the common cold) to reach across the head of a pin - there are still so many of them on earth that if you were to lie them all down, head to toe (so to speak), they would form a line that is 200 million lightyears long. (And that's todays fun fact about life on the far side.)

Are you counting viroids and prions in this claim of yours? It appears some of the claims you make in this thread rely all-too-heavily on indirect observation. 

In either case, disagreed. Our ability to control viruses and even farm them for the purposes of medicine is far (numerically) greater than their ability to inflict, damage, manipulate, and ultimately kill humans.... for now.

In addition, you must also take into consideration biomass/trophic levels. I strongly suspect the actual biomass (base energy and number of quantum state changes) of humans is far greater than any other animal species on this planet. I also believe that for an organism to be "dominant" it must be ready to adapt to many potential climates (viruses can't truly do this by themselves), be able reproduce without the assistance of other species (viruses can't), evolve indepedently of other species (a no-no for pathogens), hunt down and salvage the biomass of other species in order to proliferate, nor can they evolve a different niche than being a pathogen.... I have not read about one example of this, or even a slight indicator of this anyhow. There is also a modicum of proof that viruses can not come about independently of other organisms on the planet... viral dna bears several striking similarities to the dna of the cells they are (naturally) designed to infect.

Viruses are also easily destroyed; you either need the right tools to do this, or the right biology to do so. There may come a point in our future where we are able to destroy every last viral body on the planet. If we would actually want or need to do so... is another question.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Viruses

Marquis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
viruses

 

In truth, viruses is the dominant life form on earth.

Tiny as they are - you need about 50,000 rhino viruses (the common cold) to reach across the head of a pin - there are still so many of them on earth that if you were to lie them all down, head to toe (so to speak), they would form a line that is 200 million lightyears long. (And that's todays fun fact about life on the far side.)

 

             Mevolution           August 25, 2000



reading new scientist i sickly saw we must have
come from mud these torrential ecosystems spawned by
evolving viruses and bacteria their need for
living places blindly moulding us holding hands
with us injecting direction into our dna driving us
feeding our lust, our need, love too, and ambition
our adventure urge they grew to spread us out, to
cover all earth with billions of homes for bugs

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Kapkao wrote:Our ability to

Kapkao wrote:
Our ability to control viruses

 

....is even on a good day a fucked up delusion.

Case in point: H1N1 - the Swine Flu. Never has any 'pandemic' been so closely watched by so many competent (and incompetent) people and yet there was nothing anybody could do to stop it from spreading, apart from some delays here and there. As it turned out, the H1N1 virus must be said to be extremely evolutionary successful like that.

It must be mentioned that it isn't a very clever virus that kills its host. That would be like you throwing away your car after you have driven to where you wanted to go, then having to buy a new one the next time you need to go somewhere. It must also be mentioned that there are about 30 billion viruses in a pint of sea water, the air is at any given point in time and space thick with them, and that a large part of our DNA code is composed of viruses. In fact, we couldn't live without them: All life cycles of all creatures on this earth is about interacting with viruses. (Which, I presume, is why some virologists jokingly claim that the purpose of life here on earth is to serve as vehicles for viruses.)

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First off, a clear and

First off, a clear and concise definition is helpful:

vi·rus
 
 /'va?r?s/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [vahy-ruhs] Show IPA
–noun, plural -rus·es.
1.     an ultramicroscopic (20 to 300 nm in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope.

Marquis wrote:

Kapkao wrote:
Our ability to control viruses

 

....is even on a good day a fucked up delusion.

If you say so....

Maybe I should have specified: ...control a number of viruses, including retroviruses. We are able to use 'dead' viral bodies as vaccines, we are able to manipulate the genetic code of viruses, we are even capable of modifying our own genetic code using retroviral genetic engineering. Limited experiments have been conducted to correct diabetes (type I, I believe) in laboratory animals... though any useful by-products of this genetic engineering is years away from becoming safe-to-use medicines (or cures, rather).

Quote:

Case in point: H1N1 - the Swine Flu. Never has any 'pandemic' been so closely watched by so many competent (and incompetent) people and yet there was nothing anybody could do to stop it from spreading, apart from some delays here and there. As it turned out, the H1N1 virus must be said to be extremely evolutionary successful like that.

Spanish Flu was exponentially more destructive for it's own time.... and it eventually disappeared. Smallpox was even more destructive (and eventually eradicated). Hells, even HIV was more deadly from it's first two years of spread in the US than H1N1 has been thus far.... and there is no signs of HIV or any number of older virus species dwindling or disappearing.

The evidence, as I understand it, is that (an overwhelming majority of) viruses arise out of poorly maintained genetic reproduction in cellular life. I will, however, cede that early life (or proto-life) undoubtedly started as a few strands of RNA, later morphing into DNA after a few eons (or epochs), and ultimately developing a complex array of chemical reactions known as a cell. These primordial nucleic acid formations are not at all unlike the speculated forms that viruses and viral pathogens are believed to take at their earliest possible stage of existence. This by itself, however, does not make viruses a "dominant life form on earth", by any stretch of the imagination. They are interesting initiators of genetic mutation and (occasionally) transmission -given what I know and what little you decided to share in this thread- and nothing more.

Now, my access to current research is limited, as I will gladly admit, but is H1N1/Swine flu (whose casualty numbers barely reach into the dozens in the US) the best possible example you have to offer??

Quote:

It must be mentioned that it isn't a very clever virus that kills its host. That would be like you throwing away your car after you have driven to where you wanted to go, then having to buy a new one the next time you need to go somewhere. It must also be mentioned that there are about 30 billion viruses in a pint of sea water, the air is at any given point in time and space thick with them, and that a large part of our DNA code is composed of viruses. In fact, we couldn't live without them: All life cycles of all creatures on this earth is about interacting with viruses. (Which, I presume, is why some virologists jokingly claim that the purpose of life here on earth is to serve as vehicles for viruses.)

...I'm glad it's just a joke, too.

That reads a lot like "and that a large part of our beliefs are composed of theisms. In fact, we couldn't live without them: All belief systems of all persons on this earth is about interacting with theists."

I am curious, based on your current knowledge... which type of organism creates and shares more genetic material, on-a-daily-%-of-genetic-codons-produced basis: cellular life (by itself), or viral pathogens (by itself, exclusively with the reproductive help of cellular life)?

  To say that viruses are the dominant form of life on Earth... is based on faulty, largely rigid and inflexible logic, IMO. Viruses (currently) exist as a consequence of cellular life; (many) cellular organisms might have originated from 'viral' nucleic acids. But the irrefutable proof of this is not there, to my knowledge. I would, however, so love to be introduced to evidence to the contrary...

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But viruses is not

But viruses is not considered alive ?

so then what is alive and what is dead


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Kapkao wrote:"a large part

Kapkao wrote:

"a large part of our beliefs are composed of theisms. [....] All belief systems of all persons on this earth is about interacting with theists."

 

I will agree with that sentence if the underlined words get changed thusly:

"A large part of our cognitive matrices are composed of memes. [....] All mental processes of all persons on this earth is about interacting with ideas."

 

FYI, more generally, there would be no cellular life without viruses (only a small fraction of them are pathogens).

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Marquis wrote:Kapkao

Marquis wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

"a large part of our beliefs are composed of theisms. [....] All belief systems of all persons on this earth is about interacting with theists."

 

I will agree with that sentence if the underlined words get changed thusly:

"A large part of our cognitive matrices are composed of memes. [....] All mental processes of all persons on this earth is about interacting with ideas."

 

FYI, more generally, there would be no cellular life without viruses (only a small fraction of them are pathogens).

The phrase within quotes is certainly agreeable- with the exception that ceremonial burial has been dated as early as 130,000 years ago.(I wish I had a more reliable source; sorry) The last sentence (or rather... the first part of it) in your post is not. For starters, the same argument could be made for Archaea. Secondly...

American Heritage Dictionary wrote:

vi·rus
n.   pl. vi·rus·es
   1.
         1.
            Any of various simple submicroscopic parasites of plants, animals, and bacteria that often cause disease and that consist essentially of a core of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protein coat. Unable to replicate without a host cell, viruses are typically not considered living organisms.
         2.
            A disease caused by a virus.
   2.
      Something that poisons one's soul or mind: the pernicious virus of racism.
   3.
      Computer Science A computer virus.
[Latin virus, poison.]

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary wrote:

Medical Dictionary

Main Entry: vi·rus
Pronunciation: 'vI-r&s
Function: noun
1 a : the causative agent of an infectious disease b : any of alarge group of submicroscopic infective agents that are regarded either as extremely simple microorganisms or as extremely complex molecules, that typically contain a protein coat surrounding an RNA orDNA core of genetic material but no semipermeable membrane, that are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells, and that cause various important diseases in humans, animals, or plants;also : FILTERABLE VIRUS c : a disease caused by a virus
2 : anantigenic but not infective material (as vaccine lymph) obtainable from a case of an infectious disease

...the medicine and language books seem to disagree with you. Perhaps you have specific knowledge that indicates otherwise?

/me shrugs

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Marquis

Marquis wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:
viruses

In truth, viruses is the dominant life form on earth.

Tiny as they are - you need about 50,000 rhino viruses (the common cold) to reach across the head of a pin - there are still so many of them on earth that if you were to lie them all down, head to toe (so to speak), they would form a line that is 200 million lightyears long. (And that's todays fun fact about life on the far side.)

Yeah, and if you cut each human into small enough pieces and strung those pieces end-to-end they could reach as far as you like.

Total relative volume or biomass is the only comparison that makes sense, and yes at least one scientist has made the point that:

"The total biomass and biodiversity of viruses is truly staggering," says microbiologist Nick Coleman, from the University of Sydney in Australia.

From an article you should appreciate: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/1024

So, yes, your point about the number and variety of viruses is relevant even when we use more rational measures.

The other point, which renders the claim about "dominant" somewhat dubious, is that by their nature that are totally dependent on cellular lifeforms for their replication. Which is the reason they are traditionally regarded as borderline classifiable as actual "life-forms" in their own right.

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