Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Abiogenesis in a flask

I'm a bit late on this one but the Miller-Urey experiment has produced some more data. This is the classic experiment, conducted in 1953, where possible conditions of the early earth were simulated in a flask. This flask was then subjected to arcs of electricity (to simulate lightening) and allowed to fester. After 1 week (he let it rest on Sunday) 10-15% of the carbon in the system was present in organic molecules, most notably 11 amino acids. Now in 2008, some of the original samples from this and similar experiments have been reanalyzed using modern, more sensitive equipment. Turns out another similar experiment resulted in the production of 22 amino acids. This again validates the strong possibility of the presence of the building blocks of life, as we know it, on many earth-like planets.
Also if your interested check out this fun/funny Miller-Urey Experiment simulator. Note: it's pretty easy to make it blow up.


Anonymous said...

But can this machine make beer?