Chemosynthesis Europa

Chemosynthesis Europa-55
These substances get dissolved by the hot water from the rocks lining the fissure, creating a chemically enriched water mixture.

These substances get dissolved by the hot water from the rocks lining the fissure, creating a chemically enriched water mixture.

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“And at low temperatures, you may have an equilibrium ratio of 10,000:1.

So if you quench, then you may have a low-temperature mixture still having a high concentration of carbon monoxide.”The quenching is important because it creates a chemical potential.

Yet, this compound — two parts hydrogen, one part sulfur — turned out to be the food source for bacteria that drive an entirely new ecosystem. Some scientists suspect this type of ecosystem might, in fact, be the oldest on our planet.)For more than a century, biologists have known that bacterial life can exist based on chemosynthesis, but before the 1977 Galapagos Hydrothermal Expedition, no one had imagined an entire ecosystem could be generated from chemosynthetic processes alone.

[Extremophiles: World's Weirdest Life]Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of carbon molecules and nutrients into organic matter — the stuff of life.

This coupling between the catalyst and the product of an organic reaction is the key first step of Wächtershäuser’s theory. Starting with these metals and gases reacting together as life emerged, Wächtershäuser says evolution starts with the beginning of a primitive metabolism that created increasingly complex chemical reactions, eventually leading over time to the formation of DNA — life’s blueprints for making more living cells today.

Before living cells were around, these metals and gases reacted together in a purely chemical sense, according to predetermined “pathways.” There were only so many compounds around back then and only so many ways these could react together.“Hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide.

It isn’t clear when photosynthesis first arose, but most estimates range from 2.5 to 3 billion years ago. The 'Replicator-first' theory Since we can’t go back in time, we’ll never know if Günter’s theory of life rising from the depths of the Earth’s molten innards is true or not.

And his is only one of several competing origin-of-life theories, which generally fall into two camps.

Yet, it would have been in this literal hell on Earth that we would have seen (if we’d remembered to take a microscope with us) the first life forms start to appear. Wächtershäuser, who’s also an honorary professor of evolutionary biochemistry at the University of Regensburg in Germany, points to Earth’s early oceans and period of high volcanic activity as the perfect environment for the birth of Earth Life Form No.

1, or the “pioneer organism”, an acellular (containing no cells) entity that likely passed through the loneliest life in the history of the planet in a manner of minutes.


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