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How and where life on Earth began.

How and where life on Earth began.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Christopher Minnis. Originally submitted for Natural Science mod. Zoology at Trinity College Dublin, with lecturer Jim Wilson in the category of Life Sciences
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Christopher Minnis. Originally submitted for Natural Science mod. Zoology at Trinity College Dublin, with lecturer Jim Wilson in the category of Life Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

 
 
How and Where Life onEarth Began
Word Count = 3,876 not including references
 
 
Contents
 
Abstract
Where and how life began on Earth is one of the great mysteries of our age. There are manycompeting theories such as the soup broth theory or the Iron-sulphide theory at volcanicvents, deep within
the Earth’s oceans. There is also the
theory that life formed extra-terrestrially (panspermia) on Earth, via the transportation by an interstellar object such as acomet or meteorite. There is still a heavy debate on the major competing theories and howsuch complex reactions could arise in a chaotic world that was primordial Earth. Followed bywhat the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) could be, and whether or not it took cellular form. Most scientists would stipulate that a pre-RNA world, formed common abioticfactors/molecules and that they would be concentrated via different meteorological methodssuch as evaporating pools of water or freezing them. When a RNA molecule managed todeveloped enzymatic properties the
“RNA W
orld
was born, this lead to the evolution of self-replicating replicators, pressured by the influencing force of natural selection. Scientistshypothesis that these replicators could be LUCA, were all life originated from on Earth.Many experiments have been done to show how such historic events could occur, such as the
famous Miller’s experiment which produced amino acids
from toxic gas cloud that would be
 present during Earth’s early years
. There have also been discoveries of how volcanic claycould have help to form either clay-armoured bubbles which acted like cells or that proto-cells freely formed in the clay. These proto-cells have been shown to actually divide withoutthe mechanical factors required by modern cells today. This pioneering work of how lifecould arise from organic molecule has huge consequences and illustrates the requirements forlife as we know it to exist but also strengthens the possibility that we will find life one day onanother planet or moon such as Mars or Europa within our Solar system.

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