HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Meteorites supplied Earth life with phosphorus

University of Arizona scientists have discovered that meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, may have been critical to the evolution of life on Earth. Their research shows that meteorites easily could have provided more phosphorus than naturally occurs on Earth -- enough phosphorus to give rise to biomolecules which eventually assembled into living, replicating organisms. Phosphorus is central to life. It forms the backbone of DNA and RNA because it connects these molecules' genetic bases into long chains. It is vital to metabolism because it is linked with life's fundamental fuel, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy that powers growth and movement. And phosphorus is part of living architecture it is in the phospholipids that make up cell walls and in the bones of vertebrates. "In terms of mass, phosphorus is the fifth most important biologic element, after carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen," said Matthew A. Pasek, a doctoral candidate in UA's planetary sciences department and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

But where terrestrial life got its phosphorus has been a mystery, he added.

Phosphorus is much rarer in nature than are hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen.

Pasek cites recent studies that show there's approximately one phosphorus atom for every 2.8 million hydrogen atoms in the cosmos, every 49 million hydrogen atoms in the oceans, and every 203 hydrogen atoms in bacteria. Similarly, there's a single phosphorus atom for every 1,400 oxygen atoms in the cosmos, every 25 million oxygen atoms in the oceans, and 72 oxygen atoms in bacteria. The numbers for carbon atoms and nitrogen atoms, respectively, per single phosphorus atom are 680 and 230 in the cosmos, 974 and 633 in the oceans, and 116 and 15 in bacteria.

"Because phosphorus is much rarer in the environment than in life, understanding the behavior of phosphorus on the early Earth gives clues to life's orgin," Pasek said.

The most common te
'"/>

Contact: Lori Stiles
lstiles@u.arizona.edu
520-626-4402
University of Arizona
24-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Impact of Meteorites, Drop in Sea Level Caused Mass Extinctions 65 Million Years Ago
2. Antarctic Science Season Gears Up With Searches for Meteorites, Neutrinos, and New Life Forms
3. Impact of Earths rising atmospheric carbon dioxide found in world oceans
4. Stanford researchers go from heaven to Earth in lifeguard test
5. Continents played key role in collapse and regeneration of Earths early greenhouse, geologists say
6. Unexpected changes in Earths climate observed on the dark side of the moon
7. Discovery of tiny microbes in ancient Greenland glacier may define limits for life on Earth
8. Earth, sky tapped in unique global climate change study
9. ESAs minature Earth observer put to many uses
10. ESA consults European science community on candidate Earth Explorer missions
11. Comets spread Earth-life around galaxy, say scientists

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... SEATTLE , April 5, 2017  The Allen ... the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic ... large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep ... edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite ... the platform for these and future publicly available resources ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader ... United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued ... linking of an iris image with a face image ... the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research ... system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D ... a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, ... an affordable cost. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second ... a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, ... from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon ... awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry ... Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a new study published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, ... demonstrated equivalence with the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: