Back in 1953, Stanley Miller, working at the University of Chicago with Harold Urey, showed how easily one could cook up life’s building blocks by simulating the conditions on early Earth.

But while the success of the Miller-Urey experiment kicked off an entire field of research, Miller had one basic piece of advice for anyone who’d want to try it out: “Don’t do it.”

“Stanley was always afraid it might lead to a disaster,” explains Jeffrey Bada, who was a student of Miller in the 1960s. “If you were not careful to let all the atmospheric air out, the setup could explode. So unless they were highly trained, he’d always advise people against repeating the experiment.”

But now a team including scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, NASA (including Dr. Bada), and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have recreated a simpler and safer way of conducting Miller-Urey type experiments.

Along with written instructions, the new version was published this month in a step-by-step video format in the Journal of Visualized Experiment.

Click here to see more about the publication, Astrobiology: The Story of Our Search for Life in the Universe.