GreenTracker| Depending on your view of evolution and creation, the term ‘primordial soup’ probably foments images of early life beginning in a brew of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later.
Today Dr Nick Lane from University College London and his scientific team are attempting to overturn the ‘primordial soup’ vision of the last 80 years. “We present the alternative that life arose from gases (H2, CO2, N2, and H2S) and that the energy for first life came from harnessing geochemical gradients created by mother Earth at a special kind of deep-sea hydrothermal vent — one that is riddled with tiny interconnected compartments or pores.”
Critics of the widely adopted 1929 soup theor of JBS Haldane have argued about the ‘spark’ the igniting ‘force’ that set the pot bubbbling.
In rejecting the soup theory the Lane team focused on ideas pioneered by geochemist Michael J. Russell, on alkaline deep sea vents, which produce chemical gradients very similar to those used by almost all living organisms today — a gradient of protons over a membrane. Early organisms likely exploited these gradients through a process called chemiosmosis, in which the proton gradient is used to drive synthesis of the universal energy currency, ATP, or simpler equivalents. Later on cells evolved to generate their own proton gradient by way of electron transfer from a donor to an acceptor. The team argue that the first donor was hydrogen and the first acceptor was CO2. Read on at Science Daily