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While the experiment did not create life per se, it has proven scientists' theories of how life could have emerged and narrowed the spectrum of places in space where extraterrestrial life may actually exist
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) recreated the origins of life, creating an imitation of ocean floors from 4 billion years ago, in an attempt to understand how the first living organisms emerged from basic organic molecules and minerals.
An experiment published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the JPL team filled with a mix similar to that found in the ancient ocean, including water, minerals, ammonia and pyruvate, which are generally located near hydrothermal vents. The mixture was heated to 70 degrees Celsius, most oxygen was removed from the mix, and iron hydroxide, or "green rust," which was abundant in ancient times, was added.
The green rust reacted with what little oxygen remained in the mixture, producing the amino acid alanine and the alpha hydroxy acid lactate, the basic organic materials that some researchers believe can further combine with more complex molecules, eventually creating basic lifeforms.
In 2018, researchers discovered that Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, hosts complex organic molecules, which may be" building blocks for life, "according to a fox report.
The recently discovered exoplanet Barnard b may also have the potential for extraterrestrial life, if water exists somewhere on the planet, because of the possibility of geothermal heating, which could create an ocean where primitive life might emerge.