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Fwd = Revolutionary new theory for origins of life on Earth

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) Originally from: uasr@topica.com Original Subject: Digest for uasr@topica.com, issue 1019 Original Date:
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2002
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      Originally from: uasr@...
      Original Subject: Digest for uasr@..., issue 1019
      Original Date: Thu, 05 Dec 2002 03:51:20 -0800

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      Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 14:11:04 EST
      From: Ndunlks@...
      Subject: Revolutionary new theory for origins of life on Earth


      Public release date: 4-Dec-2002


      Contact: Elaine Calvert
      <A HREF="mailto:press@...">press@...</A>
      44-776-461-4113
      Royal Society


      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


      TO EDITORS:

      For further information, pdf file, and media password to access files direct,
      please contact:
      Elaine Calvert on 44-776-461-4113/44-7241 6227/email: <A HREF="mailto:elaine.
      calvert@...">
      elaine.calvert@...</A>
      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
      USED
      Introduction
      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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