Fwd = Revolutionary new theory for origins of life on Earth
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Original Subject: Digest for uasr@..., issue 1019
Original Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 03:51:20 -0800
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[U A S R]> UFOs-, ALIENs-, SPACE- RESEARCH MAILING LIST <[U A S R]
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 14:11:04 EST
Subject: Revolutionary new theory for origins of life on Earth
Public release date: 4-Dec-2002
Contact: Elaine Calvert
Revolutionary new theory for origins of life on Earth
A totally new and highly controversial theory on the origin of life on earth,
is set to cause a storm in the science world and has implications for the
existence of life on other planets. Research* by Professor William Martin of
the University of Dusseldorf and Dr Michael Russell of the Scottish
Environmental Research Centre in Glasgow, claims that living systems
originated from inorganic incubators - small compartments in iron sulphide
rocks. The new theory radically departs from existing perceptions of how life
developed and it will be published in Philosophical Transactions B, a learned
journal produced by the Royal Society. Since the 1930s the accepted theories
for the origins of cells and therefore the origin of life, claim that
chemical reactions in the earth's most ancient atmosphere produced the
building blocks of life - in essence - life first, cells second and the
atmosphere playing a role. Professor Martin and Dr Russell have long had
problems with the existing hypotheses of cell evolution and their theory
turns traditional views upside down. They claim that cells came first. The
first cells were not living cells but inorganic ones made of iron sulphide
and were formed not at the earth's surface but in total darkness at the
bottom of the oceans. Life, they say, is a chemical consequence of convection
currents through the earth's crust and in principle, this could happen on any
wet, rocky planet. Dr Russell says: "As hydrothermal fluid - rich in
compounds such as hydrogen, cyanide, sulphides and carbon monoxide - emerged
from the earth's crust at the ocean floor, it reacted inside the tiny metal
sulphide cavities. They provided the right microenvironment for chemical
reactions to take place. That kept the building blocks of life concentrated
at the site where they were formed rather than diffusing away into the ocean.
The iron sulphide cells, we argue, is where life began." One of the
implications of Martin and Russell's theory is that life on our planet, even
on other planets or some large moons in our own solar system, might be much
more likely than previously assumed.
The research by Professor Martin and Dr Russell is backed up by another paper
The redox protein construction kit: pre-last universal common+ ancestor
evolution of energy-conserving enzymes by F. Baymann, E. Lebrun, M. Brugna,
B. Schoepp-Cothenet, M.-T. Giudici-Orticoni & W. Nitschke which will be
published in the same edition. ###
*On the origins of cells: a hypothesis for the evolutionary transitions from
abiotic geochemistry to chemoautotrophic prokaryotes, and from prokaryotes to
nucleated cells by Professor William Martin, Institut fuer Botanik III,
University of Dusseldorf and Dr Michael Russell, Scottish Environmental
Research Centre, Glasgow. NOTES
For further information, pdf file, and media password to access files direct,
Elaine Calvert on 44-776-461-4113/44-7241 6227/email: <A HREF="mailto:elaine.
Contact details for Royal Society Press and Public Relations Office:
Liz Brodie/Bob Ward/Soccy Ponsford, Tel: 44-207-451-2568/2561/2508
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS B AS THE SOURCE FOR ANY ITEMS
J. F. Allen & J. A. Raven Genomes at the interface between bacteria and
organelles A.E. Douglas & J. A. Raven The function of genomes in bioenergetic
organelles J. F. Allen How big is the iceberg of which organellar genes in
nuclear genomes are but the tip? W. F. Doolittle, Y. Boucher, C. L. Nesbø, C.
Douady, J. O. Andersson & A. J. Roger On the origins of cells: a hypothesis
for the evolutionary transitions from abiotic geochemistry to
chemoautotrophic prokaryotes, and from prokaryotes to nucleated cells W.
Martin & M. J. Russell Eukaryotic genome evolution: rearrangement and
coevolution of compartmentalized genetic information R. G. Herrmann, R. M.
Maier and C. Schmitz-Linneweber Evolution of the chloroplast genome C. J.
Howe, A. C. Barbrook, V. L. Koumandou, R. E. R. Nisbet, H. A. Symington & T.
F. Wightman Genomic reduction and evolution of novel genetic membranes and
protein-targeting machinery in eukaryote-eukaryote chimaeras (meta-algae) T.
Cavalier-Smith Coordination of plastid and nuclear gene expression J. C.
Gray, J. A. Sullivan, J.-H. Wang, C. A. Jerome & D. MacLean Redox and light
regulation of gene expression in photosynthetic prokaryotes C. Bauer, S.
Elsen, L. R. Swem, D. L. Swem & S. Masuda Parasite plastids: maintenance and
functions R. J. M. Wilson, K. Rangachari, J. W. Saldanha, L. Rickman, R. S.
Buxton & J. F. Eccleston On the origin of mitochondria: a genomics
perspective S. G. E. Andersson, O. Karlberg, B. Canbäck & C. G. Kurland Gene
expression in plant mitochondria: transcriptional and post-transcriptional
control S. Binder and A. Brennicke Mitochondria and hydrogenosomes are two
forms of the same fundamental organelle T. M. Embley, M. van der Giezen, D.
S. Horner, P. L. Dyal & P. Foster Biochemical and evolutionary aspects of
anaerobically functioning mitochondria J. J. van Hellemond, A. van der Klei,
S. W. H. van Weelden & A. G. M. Tielens
General discussion Evolution of photosynthetic prokaryotes:
a maximum-likelihood mapping approach J. Raymond, O. Zhaxybayeva, J. P.
Gogarten & R. E. Blankenship Type I photosynthetic reaction centres:
structure and function P. Heathcote, M. R. Jones & P. K. Fyfe Photosystem II:
evolutionary perspectives A. W. Rutherford & P. Faller C-type cytochromes:
diverse structures and biogenesis systems pose evolutionary problems J. W. A.
Allen, O. Daltrop, J. M. Stevens & S. J. Ferguson The redox protein
construction kit: pre-last universal common+ ancestor evolution of
energy-conserving enzymes F. Baymann, E. Lebrun, M. Brugna, B.
Schoepp-Cothenet, M.-T. Giudici-Orticoni & W. Nitschke The Royal Society is
an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Founded in
1660, the Society has three roles, as the UK academy of science, as a learned
Society and as a funding agency. It responds to individual demand with
selection by merit not by field.
The Society's objectives are:
Recognise excellence in science
Support leading-edge scientific research and its applications
Stimulate international interaction
Further the role of science, engineering and technology in society
Promote education and public understanding of science
Provide independent authoritative advice on matters relating to science,
engineering and technology
Encourage research into the history of science
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