East Africa News Post

Complete News World

A lake in Canada could give clues about the true origin of life

A lake in Canada could give clues about the true origin of life

Canada's Last Chance Lake opens new doors to understanding the origin of life (David C. Catling)

A recent study focused on Last Chance Lakea shallow body of water located on volcanic rocks in the province British Columbia, Canadamay reveal secrets about Origins of life on Earth. It also spread CNNThis discovery provides new data that could advance scientific understanding of how life began.

Published in the magazine nature On January 9, this study provided evidence that carbonate-rich lakes, similar to those found in… last chance“They could have been”Family life“At the dawn of the planet, he suggested David Catlinga co-author of the study and a professor of geosciences at U.S University of Washington.

The choice of Last Chance Lake as a research focus arose after a literature review revealed an unpublished master's thesis from the 1990s, which recorded unusual levels of phosphate in this lake. “We think we have a very promising place for the origin of life,” Catling said.

Phosphate, an essential component of DNA and RNA, is found in very high levels in Last Chance Lake (David C. Catling)

This model assumes the presence of shallow, salty lakes rather than an oceanic environment for life to emerge 4 billion yearsIt opposes traditional theories and presentations A new approach to the search for the origins of human existence.

he Last Chance Lake It is located on a volcanic plateau British Columbia More than 1,000 meters above sea level, it contains the highest concentrations of phosphate ever recorded in natural water bodies in the world. Land. This lake, which is only 30 cm deep, is now presented as an important window into understanding the conditions that could have contributed to the emergence of life on this planet. Land.

Phosphate, an essential component of key biological molecules such as DNA, RNA and ATP, is found in this body of water at a rate 1,000 times higher than normal in oceans and lakes. Sebastian Haas, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington who led the study of this chemical and microbiological specificity, highlighted the importance of these findings for better understanding the environments that may have been conducive to the emergence of life on Earth.

Unique phosphate concentrations in Last Chance Lake provide clues to Earth's primitive conditions (David C. Catling)

Between 2021 and 2022, Haas His team sampled the lake's water and sediments, revealing not only phosphate richness, but also an abundance of the mineral dolomite. The latter contributes to the accumulation of phosphorus in the environment, after it was formed from a reaction in the lake that included calcium, magnesium, and carbonate. “We give added credence to the idea that this type of environment could have been suitable for the origin of life, which is plausible.”claimed Haas.

The resulting combination of chemical processes, influenced by minerals from the volcanic rock on which Last Chance Lake lies, combined with an arid climate, has generated unique concentrations of phosphate. It is believed that these findings could provide key clues about what conditions were like on Earth 4 billion years ago, when life began to emerge. Last Chance Lake, less than 10,000 years old, provides a working model or natural snapshot of Earth's distant past.

See also  These are the iPhones of choice for those who switched from Android

“There is every reason to believe that similar lakes existed on early Earths about 4 billion years ago,” Haas said, explaining that the volcanic rocks beneath Last Chance Lake are necessary for the formation of soda lakes. These, according to the study, are necessary for high concentrations of phosphate.

The rich presence of dolomite in the lake contributes to the accumulation of phosphorus necessary for life (David C. Catling)

Life on this planet Land It may have originated in terrestrial soda lakes, not in the deep, dark ocean abyss. This hypothesis opens new ways to explore and search for life alien In celestial bodies with properties similar to those Mars.

That is, if life appears in environments similar to soda lakes, then so will planets with rocky surfaces Mars They could have a higher probability of harboring life, or at least, evidence of their past existence. “If you believe that life originated at the bottom of the ocean, you can take a closer look at the subglacial ocean of our planet's moons. Saturn And Jupiter “But if you believe that life arose on Earth,” Haas explained, Landplanets such as Mars “They could be much more important.”

Rock formations that give rise to soda lakes, characterized by high pH and carbonate concentrations, are common on Mars. This coincidence indicates that the chemical processes and environmental conditions necessary for the emergence of life could have been repeated on the Red Planet or elsewhere in the universe under similar conditions. “Understanding how life arose on Earth is of such importance to our search for life beyond Earth,” Haas said, emphasizing how these findings could guide future space exploration missions.

See also  WhatsApp | How to add group chat expiration date | jobs | beta | Tools | Groups | iOS | nnda | nnni | Play DEPOR