If you believe the movies about monsters and old scientific experiments, life began with the spark. Not all believe in this history about the origin of life, so continue to look for sources of energy that can turn probioticeski the broth more refreshing dish. It may be that the secret ingredient is just a pinch of salt. In any case, this can be assumed, starting from a new study conducted by scientists from the Institute of Earth and life Sciences (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of technology in Japan.
Scientists have drawn attention to the usual and well-known sodium chloride as a potential conductor of chemical energy required for early biochemistry. Sodium chloride consists of a ratio of sodium and chlorine ions 1:1, and in this case the culprits are chlorine ions. Once they get a dose of intense electromagnetic radiation, it all starts.
Does life need ordinary salt?
The origin of life on Earth has always been of interest to people.
Science explains well how life has managed to evolve and evolve to such a degree of diversity. We can use explanations like natural selection to get to what we have today.
At some point, we need to move from a chaotic vortex of organic chemicals to imperfect code replications, which can be seen as the very first glimpse of life; the first ecosystem, as required by the RNA-world hypothesis.
Unfortunately, there is a chicken and egg problem in this hypothesis.
Life depends on consuming energy from a single source — be it chemical bonds or sunlight — and using it to regroup compounds. Without an energy source, we could not accelerate the production of basic chemicals, which then make up primitive genetic codes.
Although all modern organisms inherit the necessary cellular device, the first metabolic leap had to rely on a fairly common source of energy. So that it was easier to find not in life but in the environment.
In the early 1950s, two chemists-Stanley Miller and Harold Urey — generated a number of amino acids from simple materials in an interesting way, demonstrating for the first time that basic protein substances do not necessarily need a living source.
They applied voltage to the environment, suggesting that the early Earth was generously struck by lightning, and hence energy.
But even though this process did produce amino acids, RNA is made up of a different alphabet of basic chemicals. An attempt to understand how they were formed also resulted in an energy problem.
Last year, a group of scientists suggested that plasma from shock waves propagating from the asteroid impact site could provide enough energy to convert organic building blocks into formamide, the parent molecule for the four letters of RNA.
Well, in part, these rare events-asteroid and lightning strikes-may explain the production of a small number of key players. Meanwhile, there are a number of other chemicals that could have supporting roles and that also need explanation.
The new study retreats a bit to include a story about a wider cast of actors who might prove important in the chain of life-forming reactions. One such example is the cyanamide compound.
Earlier work by other scientists has outlined ways to create fundamental starting blocks of RNA from compounds like hydrogen cyanide in the presence of almost one ultraviolet light. But for this it was necessary to form cyanamide, and no one could do it.
“Our goal, respectively, was to develop a network of reactions that produce simple sugars, including cyanamide, and other important precursors for RNA synthesis in a ‘single pot’, scientists write.
After analyzing the chains of reactions supported not by ultraviolet light, but by more intense gamma radiation, they noticed that cyanamide levels increased proportionally to rather unexpected reagents-chlorine ions.
Of the two components contained in the salt, it is sodium that usually attracts the most attention, and its chloride satellite, which rarely participates in reactions, is usually overlooked.
Apparently, gamma radiation weakens the electrons of the chloride and provides a rush of energy necessary for the formation of cyanamide. In some ways, it sounds more complicated (and less exciting) than lightning strikes and asteroid falls. But life didn’t have to start with a boom.
Maybe it started with a pinch of spice.