"Natural battery" were a source of energy


28/05/2010

"Natural battery" were a source of energy for the earliest examples of life. Researchers at the University of Leeds (University of Leeds) have found new clues about the beginning of life on Earth.

A team of scientists has found that the composition known as pirofosfit (pyrophosphite) may have been an important energy source for primitive models of life.

There are several conflicting theories about how life originated on Earth from inanimate matter billions of years ago in a process known as abiogenesis.

"It’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg?" says Dr. Terry Kee of the University of Leeds (Terry Kee), who studied. "Scientists are in a dispute about what happened at first - up or metabolism. But there is a third side of this equation - the energy."

All living things require a continuous supply of energy in order to function. This energy is all around our bodies in certain molecules, one of the most famous is the ATP (adenosin triphosphate), (adenosine triphosphate), a substance that converts solar heat into a suitable form for the lives of animals and plants.

The average human body contains just 250g ATP - this provides roughly the same amount of energy as one battery type AA. This stock ATP is constantly used and regenerated in living cells through a process known as respiration, which is due to natural catalysts called enzymes.

"You need enzymes to form ATP and you need ATP, the formation of enzymes," explains Dr. Kee (Kee). "The question is: where the energy came before it began to exist, these two things? We think that the answer may be related to simple molecules such as pyrophosphites (pyrophosphite), which chemical composition similar to ATP, but have the capacity to transmit energy without enzymes. "

The key to solving the problem of battery properties and ATP pyrophosphites (pyrophosphite) is an element called phosphorus (phosphorus), which is essential for all living beings. Phosphorus is not only the active ingredient for ATP and represents the basis for the formation of DNA (DNA), and is important in cell wall structure.

But, despite its immense importance for life, is not yet fully understood how phosphorus first appeared in our atmosphere. One theory suggests that he was a member of many meteorites that collide with the Earth billions of years ago.

The information published in the journal "Chemical Communications" (Chemical Communications), are the first assumptions that pyrophosphites (pyrophosphite) could be moved from basic chemistry to complex biology at a time when life on earth began. At the completion of the study, Dr. Kee (Kee) and his team have discovered a host of other great confirmation of the importance of this molecule and now hope to form a group with members of NASA (NASA), to investigate the role of this substance in abiogenesis. The popular news portal talk about what’s going on in the world.

Original: Sciencedaily.com translation: M. Potter


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