origin and evolution of life pdf

Origin And Evolution Of Life Pdf

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DOI: As the frontiers of knowledge have advanced, scientists have resolved one creation question after another. We now have a pretty good understanding of the origin of the Sun and the Earth, and cosmologists can take us to within a fraction of a second of the beginning of the universe itself.

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RNA evolution and the origins of life

DOI: As the frontiers of knowledge have advanced, scientists have resolved one creation question after another. We now have a pretty good understanding of the origin of the Sun and the Earth, and cosmologists can take us to within a fraction of a second of the beginning of the universe itself.

Figure 1. Origin-of-life studies became an experimental science with the Miller-Urey experiment, which produced organic molecules in a flask from components thought to be present in the paleogeological atmosphere—homemade primordial soup.

But how did soup ingredients become life? We know how life, once it began, was able to proliferate and diversify until it filled and in many cases created every niche on the planet.

Yet one of the most obvious big questions—how did life arise from inorganic matter? Our progress on this question has been impeded by a formidable cognitive barrier.

Because we perceive a deep gap when we think about the difference between inorganic matter and life, we feel that nature must have made a big leap to cross that gap. The essential problem is that in modern living systems, chemical reactions in cells are mediated by protein catalysts called enzymes. The information encoded in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA is required to make the proteins; yet the proteins are required to make the nucleic acids. Furthermore, both proteins and nucleic acids are large molecules consisting of strings of small component molecules whose synthesis is supervised by proteins and nucleic acids.

We have two chickens, two eggs, and no answer to the old problem of which came first. In this article we present a view gaining attention in the origin-of-life community that takes the question out of the hatchery and places it squarely in the realm of accessible, plausible chemistry. As we see it, the early steps on the way to life are an inevitable, incremental result of the operation of the laws of chemistry and physics operating under the conditions that existed on the early Earth, a result that can be understood in terms of known or at least knowable laws of nature.

As such, the early stages in the emergence of life are no more surprising, no more accidental, than water flowing downhill. The new approach requires that we adopt new ways of looking at two important fields of science.

As we will see below, we will have to adjust our view of both cellular biochemistry and thermodynamics. Before we talk about these new ideas, however, it will be useful to place them in context by outlining a little of the history of research on the origin of life.

Most historians would say that the modern era of experimental research in origin-of-life studies began in a basement laboratory in the chemistry department of the University of Chicago in Harold Urey, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, and Stanley Miller, then a graduate student, put together a tabletop apparatus designed to look at the kinds of chemical processes that might have occurred on the planet soon after its birth.

They showed that organic molecules in this case amino acids could be created from inorganic materials by natural environmental conditions such as acidic solution, heat and electrical discharge lightning , without the mediation of enzymes. This finding triggered a wave of new thinking about both the origin and nature of life. Today, the consensus is that Miller and Urey had the wrong atmospheric components in their apparatus, so the process they discovered was probably not representative of the emergence of life on Earth.

It nevertheless pointed to the potential fecundity and diversity of nonenzymatic primordial chemistry. Since , we have found many of the same simple organic molecules in meteorites, comets and even interstellar gas clouds. To many, the real question was how these basic building blocks got put together into living systems, and, equally important, how the molecules that led to modern life were selected out of the messy molecular milieu in which they arose.

The ubiquity of simple molecules suggested an appealing scenario that had a profound effect on the way investigators approached the origin of life throughout the last half of the 20th century. The scenario went like this: After the Earth cooled enough to allow oceans to form, the Miller-Urey process or something like it produced a rain of organic matter. In a relatively short time, the ocean became a broth of these molecules, and given enough time, the right combination of molecules came together by pure chance to form a replicating entity of some kind that evolved into modern life.

Scientists called this scenario the Oparin-Haldane conjecture, but it was given a provocative nickname that endures in the popular consciousness—Primordial Soup. The essential legacy of the Primordial Soup was twofold: It simplified the notion of the origin of life to a single pivotal event, and then it proposed that that event—the step that occurred after the molecules were made—was a result of chance.

The architecture of life is just one of those things. Although many modern theories are less extreme than this, frozen-accident thinking still influences what some of us ask about the origin of life and how we prioritize our experiments.

The next major advance came in the early s, when Thomas Cech and Sidney Altman showed that some RNA molecules can act as enzyme-like catalysts. The frozen-accident argument was then replaced by a suggestive scenario in which something like RNA was assembled by chance, and was then able to fill twin roles as both enzyme and hereditary molecule in the runup to life.

The RNA systems were then acted upon by natural selection, leading to greater molecular complexity and, eventually, something like modern life. Between prebiological chemistry and RNA World, a large leap occurs, requiring that molecules appear having at least a familial resemblance to the complex molecules in the vials of Cech and Altman, for that is the assumption upon which the relevance of their findings to the origin of life depends.

Figure 2. RNA World has been the prevailing theory for the origin of life since the s. Metabolism First seeks the answer in primitive reaction networks that generate their own constituents, offering a substrate for chemical selection and a launchpad for life.

Inserting RNA molecules into an RNA First scenario without explaining how they got there seems to us an inadequate foundation for an origin theory. The RNA molecule is too complex, requiring assembly first of the monomeric constituents of RNA, then assembly of strings of monomers into polymers. As a random event without a highly structured chemical context, this sequence has a forbiddingly low probability and the process lacks a plausible chemical explanation, despite considerable effort to supply one.

We find it more natural to infer that by the time complex RNA was possible, life was already well on the road to complexity. We believe further that we can see the primordial chemical architecture preserved in the universal metabolic chemistry we observe today. The compelling feature of RNA World is that a primordial molecule provided both catalytic power and the ability to propagate its chemical identity over generations. As the catalytic versatility of these primordial RNA molecules increased due to random variation and selection, metabolic complexity began to emerge.

From that stage, RNA had roles in both control of metabolism and continuity across generations, as it does today. In our version of Metabolism First, the earliest steps toward life required neither DNA nor RNA, and may not even have involved spatial compartments like cells; the earliest reactions could have occurred in the voids of porous rock, perhaps filled with organic gels deposited as suggested in the Oparin-Haldane model.

We believe this early version of metabolism consisted of a series of simple chemical reactions running without the aid of complex enzymes, via the catalytic action of networks of small molecules, perhaps aided by naturally occurring minerals. If the network generated its own constituents—if it was recursive—it could serve as the core of a self-amplifying chemical system subject to selection.

We propose that such a system arose and that much of that early core remains as the universal part of modern biochemistry, the reaction sequences shared by all living beings. Further elaborations would have been added to it as cells formed and came under RNA control, and as organisms specialized as participants in more complex ecosystems.

Networks of synthetic pathways that are recursive and self-catalyzing are widely known in organic chemistry, but they are notorious for generating a mass of side products, which may disrupt the reaction system or simply dilute the reactants, preventing them from accumulating within a pathway.

The important feature necessary for chemical selection in such a network, which remains to be demonstrated, is feedback-driven self-pruning of side reactions, resulting in a limited suite of pathways capable of concentrating reagents as metabolism does. The search for such self-pruning is one of the most actively pursued research fronts in Metabolism First research.

Interstate highway system. The system includes an enormously complex network of roads; major infrastructure devoted to extracting oil from the Earth, refining oil into gasoline and distributing gasoline along the highways, a major industry devoted to producing automobiles; and so on.

If we wanted to explain this system in all of its complexity, we would not ask whether cars led to roads or roads led to cars, nor would we suspect that the entire system had been created from scratch as a giant public works project. It would be more productive to consider the state of transport in preindustrial America and ask how the primitive foot trails that must certainly have existed had developed into wagon roads, then paved roads and so on. By following this evolutionary line of argument, we would eventually account for the present system in all its complexity without needing recourse to highly improbable chance events.

In the same way, we argue, the current complexity of life should be understood as the result of a multistep process, beginning with the catalytic chemistry of small molecules acting in simple networks—networks still preserved in the depths of metabolism—elaborating these reaction sequences through processes of simple chemical selection, and only later taking on the aspects of cellularization and organismal individuality that make possible the Darwinian selection that biologists see today.

Our task as origin-of-life researchers is to look at the modern highways and see what they reveal about the original foot trails. The very robustness of modern life makes such questions difficult, because the metabolism that we see today seems to be one on which life has converged, and around which it reorganizes after historical shocks such as the oxygenation of the atmosphere at the beginning of the paleoproterozoic era, the emergence of multicellularity, dramatic climate changes that have reshaped environments and so on.

Another analogy will illustrate how this question should be understood. Imagine a large pond of water sitting on top of a hill. We know that there are any number of other states—any in which the water is lower than it is at the top—which have lower energy and are therefore states toward which the system will tend to evolve over time.

We need not think of the laws of physics as being endpoint directed; rather, they simply adjudicate between states of higher or lower energy, with a preference for lower. Can we apply the same reasoning to the chemistry of life? For real hills, we understand not only that the water will flow downward but also many things about how it will do so.

Molecules of water will not each flow down a random path. Instead the flowing water will cut a channel in the hillside. In fact, the flow of water is at once constructing a channel and contributing to the collapse of the energy imbalance that drives the entire process. In addition, if we look at this process in detail, we see that what really matters is the configuration of the earth near the top of the hill, for it is there that the channeling process starts.

This part of the analogy turns out to be particularly appropriate when we consider early chemical reactions. Furthermore, the dynamics of the system are such that once the channel is established, subsequent flow will reinforce and strengthen it. There are many such systems of channels in nature—the lightning bolt is an example, although in that case the forces at work are electrical, not gravitational.

When lightning occurs, positive and negative charges become separated between clouds and the ground. The charge separation ionizes atoms in the air, creating a conducting channel through which the charges flow—the lightning bolt—much as water flows down a hill.

We argue that the appearance of life on our planet followed the creation of just such a channel, except that it was a channel in a chemical rather than a geological landscape. In the abiotic world of the early Earth, likely in a chemically excited environment, reservoirs of energy accumulated.

In effect, electrons along with certain key ions were pumped up chemical hills. Like the water in our analogy, those electrons possessed stored energy. For example, carbon dioxide and hydrogen molecules are produced copiously in ordinary geochemical environments such as deep sea vents, creating a situation analogous to the water on the hill.

In the abiotic world, however, this particular reaction takes place so slowly that the electrons in the hydrogen molecles find themselves effectively stranded at the top of the energy hill. In this example, the problem that is solved by the presence of life is getting energized electrons back down the chemical hill. This is accomplished by the establishment of a sequence of biochemical channels, each contributing to the whole.

Think of the water cutting multiple channels in the hill. The reactions that create those channels would involve simple chemical transactions between small organic molecules.

How can we translate these sorts of general arguments into a reasonable scenario for the appearance of the first living thing? One way would be to look closely at the metabolic chart shown earlier, the diagram that maps the basic chemical reactions in all living systems. Figure 3. The reactions and molecules of the citric acid cycle are universal in modern organisms. However, in many microbial species, the cycle runs in reverse. Instead of oxidizing the fuel molecule acetate "activated" by attachment to a carrier molecule and releasing CO 2 as waste, the reverse cycle incorporates CO 2 in organic molecules by exploiting the electron-transfer potential "reducing power" of geologically produced molecules such as H 2.

A reductive cycle could have served as the foundation for primordial biosynthesis. At the very core of metabolism—the starting point for the synthetic pathways of all biomolecules—is a relatively simple set of reactions known as the citric acid cycle also called the tricarboxylic acid cycle or the Krebs cycle.

Evolution of Life

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Metrics details. Although it is frequently taught in many schools and universities all over the world that since early antiquity philosophers and naturalists alike appealed to spontaneous generation to explain the origin of life, this was not really the case. Like his paternal grandfather and scientific predecessor Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin was convinced that plants and animals arose naturally from simple nonliving inorganic compounds. With very few exceptions, he carefully avoided discussing this possibility in his books. Equally significant, toward the end of the nineteenth century, the chemical gap separating nonliving from living matter had been bridged at least in part by the laboratory syntheses of organic molecules, which for a long time had been considered to be fundamentally different from inorganic compounds. This view soon merged with the emergent fields of biochemistry and cell biology, leading to proposals in which the origin of protoplasm was equated with the origin of life. Some of these hypotheses considered life as an emergent feature of nature and attempted to understand its origin by introducing principles of historical explanation, but most of these explanations went unnoticed, in part because they were incomplete, speculative schemes largely devoid of direct evidence and not subject to fruitful experimental testing.

Gordon C. Mills, Malcolm Lancaster, Walter L. The American Biology Teacher 1 February ; 55 2 : 78— Sign In or Create an Account. User Tools. Sign In.


PDF | Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and.


The Origin and Early Evolution of Life: Where, When and How?

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Fossils, Molecules, and Culture

 Свою женскую интуицию ты ставишь выше ученых степеней и опыта Джаббы в области антивирусного программирования. Она взглянула на него с холодным презрением. Бринкерхофф поднял руки в знак капитуляции. - Извини. Беру свои слова обратно.  - Ему не стоило напоминать о поразительной способности Мидж Милкен предчувствовать беду.  - Мидж, - взмолился он, - я знаю, что ты терпеть не можешь Стратмора, но… - Это не имеет никакого значения! - вспылила .

 Ты нашла ключ. Сьюзан покачала головой. Стратмор наморщил лоб и прикусил губу. Мысли его метались. Он, конечно, с легкостью мог набрать код лифта и отправить Сьюзан домой, но она нужна ему. Она должна помочь ему найти ключ в компьютере Хейла. Стратмор пока не сказал ей, что этот ключ представляет для него отнюдь не только академический интерес.

Угрожающий потенциал всей этой ситуации подавил. Какие вообще у них есть доказательства, что Танкадо действительно создал Цифровую крепость. Только его собственные утверждения в электронных посланиях. И конечно… ТРАНСТЕКСТ. Компьютер висел уже почти двадцать часов. Она, разумеется, знала, что были и другие программы, над которыми он работал так долго, программы, создать которые было куда легче, чем нераскрываемый алгоритм. Вирусы.

Мы упустили что-то очень важное.

Сегодня это случилось впервые. ИСТЕКШЕЕ ВРЕМЯ: 15:17:21 - Пятнадцать часов семнадцать минут? - Он не верил своим глазам.  - Это невозможно.

Беккер с трудом сдержал крик ужаса. Меган сидела на унитазе с закатившимися вверх глазами. В центре лба зияло пулевое отверстие, из которого сочилась кровь, заливая лицо. - О Боже! - воскликнул он в ужасе. - Esta muerta, - прокаркал за его спиной голос, который трудно было назвать человеческим.

Всего двадцать минут, подумала. Повернувшись к терминалу Хейла, Сьюзан вдруг уловила странный мускусный запах - очень необычный для Третьего узла. Она подумала, что дело, быть может, в неисправном ионизаторе воздуха. Запах показался ей смутно знакомым, и эта мысль пронзила ее холодом. Сьюзан представила себе Хейла в западне, в окутанной паром ловушке.

Японские иероглифы не спутаешь с латиницей. Он сказал, что выгравированные буквы выглядят так, будто кошка прошлась по клавишам пишущей машинки. - Коммандер, не думаете же вы… - Сьюзан расхохоталась.

В тусклом свете мониторов Сьюзан увидела, что это, и побледнела. Он достал пистолет. Он выдвинул два стула на середину комнаты.

 Это рекламный ход. Не стоит волноваться. Копия, которую он разместил, зашифрована.

 Да вы все спятили. Это за четыреста-то баксов.

Хейл же был уверен, что галит - некий драгоценный камень, поэтому считал, что это прозвище вполне соответствует его выдающимся умственным способностям и прекрасному телосложению. Будь он менее самонадеян, он, конечно же, заглянул бы в энциклопедию и обнаружил, что это не что иное, как солевой осадок, оставшийся после высыхания древних морей. Как и все криптографы АНБ, Хейл зарабатывал огромные деньги, однако вовсе не стремился держать этот факт при. Он ездил на белом лотосе с люком на крыше и звуковой системой с мощными динамиками.

Это можно примерно перевести как… - Кто будет охранять охранников! - закончила за него Сьюзан. Беккера поразила ее реакция. - Сьюзан, не знал, что ты… - Это из сатир Ювенала! - воскликнула.  - Кто будет охранять охранников.

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5 Comments

  1. Ozias L.

    Skip to main content Skip to table of contents.

    17.04.2021 at 21:22 Reply
  2. Tina D.

    Evolution , theory in biology postulating that the various types of plants, animals, and other living things on Earth have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations.

    21.04.2021 at 20:37 Reply
  3. Amy D.

    Human evolution is the lengthy process of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors.

    22.04.2021 at 08:42 Reply
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    22.04.2021 at 19:24 Reply
  5. Segundino C.

    compounds, until they originated living organisms. However, the extension of the evolution to the molecular world as the first chapter of the evolution of life only.

    26.04.2021 at 05:02 Reply

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