We describe life as a condition separating animals and plants from many substances, including growth, reproduction, functional activity, and the ability to continuously change before death. But this is just the meaning of life given by us. We can explain life, but how did life begin? We can’t tell right now.
This is the main question, which has been troubling scientists for decades. Till now, scientists have not been able to find the answer. Let’s go into the depth of this question and try to understand more.
Life of 4 billion years ago –
Some scientists have assumed that, as the stirring in primordial soup began, some simple chemicals combined to form biology “The first molecules were able to replicate themselves”. We, humans, are involved in developing those early biological molecules, but how did the basic chemistry present on the early Earth organise itself into an object of life? How did we get DNA? What did the first cells look like? There are many such questions, which the human race clearly does not know.
We still can not agree about, “What happened?”. Some say that life began in warm pools near volcanoes, others said that life came thousands of years ago by meteorites falling into the sea, but clearly, these principles cannot be explained at all, how did life begin?
Let us know more about life.
In 1953, Stanley Miller, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, provided the first widely accepted experimental evidence. In a glass jar, he created a comic-strip version of Primitive Earth. Water for the ocean, methane for the atmosphere, ammonia, and hydrogen, sparks for electric discharge, and other forms of electricity. A week later, he found a sticky enclosure of organic chemicals in his jar, which contained large amounts of amino acids, Lego proteins that make up the cells.
His efforts proved that life consists of many types of chemical reactions, but many scientists also raised questions on this.
His application showed that methane and ammonia clouds once dominated the atmosphere of the primitive Earth, and although Miller’s famous experiment produced components of a protein, more and more researchers believe that a genetic master molecule “probably RNA” originated before the protein. Initially, the molecules were not alive, at least not in any conventional sense. Yet its behaviour was surprisingly lifesaving.
Scientists thought it might have spoiled their experiment when it was last shown at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. But, this small unit of synthetic RNA, one of the master molecules in the nucleus of all cells, proved to be unusually gifted. Within an hour of its formation, it contained organic materials in a thimble-shaped test tube and began making copies of itself. In the long run, copies began to develop, developing the ability to perform new and unexpected chemical moves. Surprised and excited, the scientists who witnessed the incident found themselves surprised and wondered, that’s how life started?
Is this how life started?
This is a question that is being asked repeatedly as news of this remarkable molecule. Never before have the creations of laboratories come so close as to separate quickly from the non-living, the dead. It is as if the most basic questions about who we are and how to get here are being distilled into smaller sized entities than splashes of dust. Now research is going on and there is a philosophical debate as to what, exactly, is life, and how did it begin?
The answers to these questions of scientists are changing day by day, as new evidence diverges in the form of ocean and biology and molecular biology, geochemistry, and astronomy.
UCLA paleobiologist J.William Schoff reported that fossilized traces of a thriving microbial community have been found between layers of rock, which are 3.5 billion years old.
This, along with other evidence, shows that life was well established only a billion years after the Earth’s formation, a much faster development than before. Many researchers believe that life began not once but several times before it was finally “taken” and colonized. The notion that life is born quickly and easily is what has led scientists to try to guess exactly: they want to make life in the laboratory “real life”.
They want to turn the hands of time all the way back and build a unit that can predict the first most primitive living thing.
Meanwhile, scientists have not yet reached a consensus on the new one. The current version of the life story is complex with many concrete facts and no shortage of competing theories on how to fill in the missing pieces.
As scientists trace the origin of life, the working definition of life will be considered, debated, and perhaps even expanded. If a slive of fully functional RNA wakes up in a test tube and starts to build its own protein, then what is it to say that it is less alive by performing similar functions inside a cell than a strand of RNA?
Some will always believe that this is a divine spark, not clever chemistry that matters for life, and for all their fancy equipment, scientists have yet to produce anything in a test tube that would shake the faith of a fundamentalist. The more scientists keep learning about it, the more life will seem extraordinary.
Just as we have not yet fully understood the Big Bang theory and are constantly trying to understand it, in the same way, progress in understanding the origin of life should eventually increase, not less.
This Article was Published On: 9 February, 2019 And Last Modified On: 15 November, 2021
FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, please contact us
SUPPORT US: Help us deliver true multilingual stories to the world. Support the UNREVEALED FILES by making a small monetary contribution. Your contribution will help us run this platform. You can contribute instantly by clicking on this PAY NOW link.