Joined: Sep. 2006
|Quote (Louis @ Dec. 17 2006,18:08)|
|Has there been any agreement from the researchers involved about the environmental conditions at the time of abiogenesis?|
If not, shouldn't finding this out be condition 0) for your tract.
I honestly don't know if there has been "agreement", depending on what one means by agreement. Are there a variety of plausible evidence based scenarios, one of which has yet to be 100% settled on by all relevant experts everywhere? Yes. So as for agreement the answer is yes and no!
Should this be condition 0) for my "tract"?
[Outraged John Cleese voice]
Well the first thought is "tract"? I'm fucking Jack Chick now am I? Tract? Kiss my heavily polished not particularly black arse! Tract. Fuck off.
[/Outraged John Cleese voice]
Ok so I'm kidding about, don't take the above to heart or in any way seriously.
What I think the question is is this:
"Is a complete description of the environmental conditions for the early earth, when we think abiogenesis occured, available?"
Ahhhh... so many ways to respond to Mr. Cleese. Shall it be classic MP? Some of the stage work? Films (I was thinking Kevin Klinesque at first since the psedo-psychological rantings could produce some chuckles). Naw, I choose the simple route.
[Normal Manuel voice]
[/Normal Manuel voice]
My comment, although sparse in detail, is angled more on the 'energy pump' aspects of any first self-replication survivor. With your references and others I see a few alternatives for the energy source, and eventual energy stream, for our first bugs.
1. Sulfide/Sulfate energy source. Originating source from the hydrothermal vents that have most likely existed on earth since the oceans first formed.
(O.K. Sulphur for you East Atlantists, I'll also state that Al-U-Min-E-Um is more correct but becoming more archaic. Color.... errrrr Colour me surprised that you cling on to this usage as "MORE" correct)
2. Water surface energy source, maybe a CO2 or hydrocarbon source.
3. Specific catalysis products in some specific area. This source could be a vent from a large deposit of hydrides (H2 product is possible) or other such chemistry where a catalysis starts the breakdown of an older geologic deposit after some specific geologic change (uplift exposure to air/rain, fold exposure to water, volcanism through formerly stable areas, metamorphic change, etc...).
The first 'energy pump' piece of abiogenesis would have to be a simple system and the self-replicator may have located itself in an area where unstable (read higher-energy) sources of chemicals occur so that the first 'energy pump' consisted of simple autocatalytic (or catalytic, see below) one-step reaction.
Another aspect of these conditions is the availability of catalysts. Although autocatalytic processes are an easier condition, a catalytic process may be necessary in these early conditions. As Deadman referenced...
Deadman, just had one correction on your comment. Autocatalysis implies no external factors. The presence of clays (Fe, Mg, Mn, etc...) would be external catalysis only.
Anyway, the first replicator could use an available catalytic source (say a clay ball) located near a source of higher-energy molecules (list above) to source its energy for life.
I'll become more verbose on this thread to bore the he11 out of everyone.
I'm a BSc chemical engineer and spent the last 10 years working in industrial production. My first seven was with phosphate fertilizer manufacture. Interesting process;
-first making 8000 tons per day (tpd) of sulfuric acid by burning liquid sulphur (SO2) then catalysing to SO3 then scrubbing to H2SO4 (98%).
-then using all that sulfuric acid to attack 12,000 tpd of phosphate ore (the drag lines at the mines are massive) becoming phosphoric acid and gypsum.
-combine the phosphoric acid with liquid ammonia and you get 7,500 tpd of a high quality Di-ammonium Phosphate (18-46-0) or Mono-ammonium Phosphate (10-50-0).
Big equipment, big material balances and big energy swings in every process. Lots of fun after the lab scale processes taught in school.