Before the appearance of life on our planet, the surroundingthe medium contained a large number of chemical elements that interacted with each other very randomly. Scientists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the National University of Malaysia found out why chemical compounds were harder before life was born than previously thought.
Earth is inhabited by cellular life forms. Cells are complex structures that consist of many chemical components, including proteins and nucleic acids. All these components are necessary for cells to live, grow and develop. Cells interact with the environment, exchange food and waste with each other. But what was on our planet before they appeared?
Chemistry - the basis of life on Earth?
Today, scientists concluded that beforelife on Earth, there were a large number of the most diverse molecules. They appeared along with simple organic substances and were very different from everything that scientists examine in microscopes today. Evolution began with simple chemistry, but gradually all processes became more and more complex. Thus, the structures and cells known to us appeared.
Scientists have learned that if simple hydroxy acids -For example, lactic acid is dried, and then diluted with water again, then this acid will turn into gel microdrops. That is, by looking through a microscope and studying chemical reactions, scientists have discovered that these tiny chemical components turn into gel.
On their own, without any outside help,chemical elements are collected in microscopic gel droplets as soon as water re-enters them. And after such amazing processes, microdrops form simple cellular structures.
Such an interesting chemistry led tothe formation of a new type of cellular components, with acids and proteins already familiar to the scientist. It is also noteworthy that these processes took place both on the most ancient coasts of the Earth, and in drying puddles.
What is needed to create life?
Unlike most modern cells, thesemicrodroplets easily connect with each other, collect information and turn into something new. And one of the most important functions of cells, as you know, is the collection of nutrients and the protection of the genetic information that they contain. That is why biologists believe that these primitive microcomponents were very important for the origin of life.
Also interesting: The first life on Earth could have originated in puddles and ponds, and not in the oceans.
For scientists, this study turned out to be quitedifficult, because they had to look for new research methods and determine the properties, functions and characteristics of gel microdrops. No one has done anything like this.
This is how gel microdrops look under a microscope and using dye
Scientists used to look for molecules and elements thatcould appear due to environmental influences. According to experts, just such molecules and elements could lead to the appearance of the first cells. True, no one could understand how this happened.
Scientists from different countries worked on the study.and areas of science. The team included biochemists, chemists, geologists and even materials scientists. Now, after determining the primitive composition of the cell, scientists have to understand whether these microdrops are capable of performing such important functions as maintaining the vital functions of the cell.
However, it is highly likely that beforegel microdrops existed something else. But despite such assumptions, scientists have no doubt that the elements that make up the microdrops and the microdrops themselves actively participated in creating the first complex biochemical processes on Earth.
See also: There are more than 100 definitions of life, and all of them are erroneous.
The authors of the study hope that in the future their discovery will help in the search for extraterrestrial life and at the same time contribute to the emergence of new medical developments.
What other surprising discoveries will lead to the discovery of gel microdroplets? Share your opinion in the comments, or in our Telegram chat.