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Deep sea vents had ideal conditions for origin of life

6 November 2019

Previous experiments had failed to foster the formation of protocells – seen as a key stepping stone to the development of cell-based life – in such environments.

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However the new study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, finds that heat and alkalinity might not just be acceptable, but necessary to get life started.

“There are multiple competing theories as to where and how life started. Underwater hydrothermal vents are among most promising locations for life’s beginnings – our findings now add weight to that theory with solid experimental evidence,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Nick Lane (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment).

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