Minerals, Organics, and the Origin of Life
Life is thought to have originated on Earth via processes in which organic compounds self-organized into systems which are capable of replication and exhibit natural selection. Further evolution then led to modern biochemical systems. One key to this process is thought to be mineral-organic interactions. Research into mineral-organic interfaces could help astrobiologists understand the origin of life on our planet and the potential for Earth-like life on other worlds in the Universe.
Recently, a team of astrobiologists led by H. James Cleaves of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science has performed an extensive review of the current state of knowledge concerning prebiotic mineral-organic interfacial processes, as well as recent advances in the study of mineral surface-organic interactions that could be relevant to understanding life’s origins on Earth. Their review, published in Chemical Society Reviews, highlights blind spots in current knowledge that could be addressed by experimental and computational approaches in future studies.
- Amino Acids in Chondrites
- Calculating the Conductance of Ion Channels
- Diversity and Distribution Around Hydrothermal Vents
- Prebiotic Glycerol in Interstallar Ice
- Is There Methane on Mars? III: Revenge of the Cows
- Astrobiology Researcher Awarded Paleontological Society Medal
- Astrobiology at the Cartoon Art Museum
- Shrimp Feed in the Mid-Cayman Rise
- Titan’s Atmosphere Useful in Study of Hazy Exoplanets
- Ether Compounds Could Work Like DNA on Oily Worlds