Friday, June 26, 2009

Once Upon Below

Hydrothermal Life Maker

From the February article:

Lost City is exceptional, Kelley says, because chemical reactions in the seafloor produce acetate, formate, hydrogen and alkaline fluids. All these substances may have been key to the emergence of life, according to work published recently by Michael Russell and A.J. Hall of Glasgow and William Martin of Germany. In addition, acetate and formate found in Lost City fluids may have been an important energy source for the ancestors of methanogens, microorganisms that live off the methane at places like Lost City. It's perhaps one more bit of evidence about where life may have originated, Kelley says.

This could very well be the sort of place whereupon, hundreds of millions of years ago, geochemistry evolved into biochemistry.

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