80-year-old theory of “primordial soup”, as the origin of life rejected by a new search

The textbooks have that life comes from organic soup and the first cells grown by fermentation of organic material to produce energy as ATP. We propose a new perspective on the reasons for this view does not work at the old and familiar, said team leader Dr Nick Lane, University College London. We present an alternative was life from gases and energy for life the first time to take advantage of geochemical gradients created by Mother Earth , a particular type of deep-sea hydrothermal vents – one that is full of tiny interconnected compartments or pores. Despite bioenergetic and thermodynamic concept failures 80 years of primordial soup is at the center of the prevailing thinking on the origin of life, said lead author, William Martin, an evolutionary biologist at the Institute of Botany III D sseldorf. But the soup does not have the capacity to produce vital energy for life.

Far from being too complex to be fed early in life, it is almost impossible to understand how life can be started without chemiosmosis, said Lane. It ‘s time to break free from the shackles of fermentation in a primordial soup of life without oxygen – an idea that dates back to a time before someone in the field of biology has had no understanding of how ATP is made.

The team focused on the ideas launched by geochemist Michael J. Russell, alkaline deep sea vents, which produce chemical gradients very similar to those used by almost all living organisms today – a gradient of protons across a membrane. Organisms probably soon exploited these gradients through a process called chemiosmosis, in which the proton gradient is used to guide the synthesis of the universal energy currency, ATP, or simply equivalent. Subsequently, cells have evolved to create their own proton gradient by electron transfer from a donor to an acceptor.

Thermodynamic constraints mean that chemiosmosis is strictly necessary for carbon and energy metabolism in all organisms that grow from simple chemical ingredients [autotrophy] today, and probably the first free-living cells, said Lane. Here, we examine how the first cells could have used a force established geochemical and then learned to do them.

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Soup theory was proposed in 1929, when JBS Haldane published his influential essay on the origins of life in which he argued that UV radiation provided the energy to convert methane, ammonia and water, the first organic compounds in the oceans of the Earth primordial. However, the critical point of the theory of soup there is no driving force to do something to react, and without a source of energy, life as we know it can not exist.

Modern living cells have inherited the same size as the proton gradient, and, above all, the same orientation – positive and negative inside and out – as the inorganic vesicles from which they arose, said co-author John Allen, a biochemist at Queen Mary University of London.