Saturday December 30, 2017
Meteorites could be the reason we walk the Earth today
more stories from this episode
- How recreating horsepox in a lab could lead to cancer cures
- Meteorites could be the reason we walk the Earth today
- Mysterious empty chamber found in the Great Pyramid of Giza
- 'Shockingly successful' artificial womb could save thousands of infant lives
- 'For the first time ever, we have a piece of another star system,' astronomer announces
- 1st ever gene-edited human embryo raises ethical concerns
- Full Episode
There are two prominent theories about how and where life on Earth began. One is that the source of life on our planet was hydrothermal vents found deep in the oceans. According to this idea, hot, pressurized water mixed with the rich chemicals from the vents then caused reactions that resulted in life. The other theory is that life came to Earth by way of meteorites.
The meteorites provided small, warm ponds with the molecules essential for life.
Ben Pearce, a Ph.D. student in astrobiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. used mathematical modelling to create the conditions necessary for testing both hypothesis.
The experiment determined that the warm ponds theory was the more likely source because meteorites provided greater concentrations of RNA polymers, which are the building blocks of life.