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Shelfrock77 OP t1_iqzyuzy wrote

“Chemists discover a mechanism for peptide-forming reactions to occur in water, which leads to proteins and so to life on Earth. It could also lead to the faster development of drugs to treat humanity’s most debilitating diseases.”


JJP77 t1_ir47rse wrote

how can I get free access to the paper?


Archangel_Orion t1_ir3491g wrote

Does this mean we would be better described not as not carbon based but rather water based life forms?


RegularBasicStranger t1_ir13qrd wrote

when water molecules get smashed, heat particles get pushed out from the oxygen and gets captured by the next water molecule's hydrogen, conducting the heat particles forward (heat particles are the particles that electrons and electron shells are made of).

so the heat particles gets conducted until they reach amino acids at the edge of the water droplet and blast out a water molecule from them, the water molecule getting smashed away as water vapour thus amino acids becomes peptide.

if the amino acid was in still water, water molecules will not get physically smashed so the heat particles conducted will be too little to smash out water from the amino acid.

if the amino acid was in the bulk rather than the edge, the heat particles gets spread out rather then focused in since there are water pulling the heat particles from everywhere while in the bulk so the heat particles gets split into smaller groups that does not have enough momentum to do much (momentum is proportionate to mass, the number of heat particles is proportionate to mass).

but in the edge, heat particles goes along the surface thus likelihood that heat particles flowing to the same point is higher, especially if the water edge is spiky due to the smashing, the spike focuses heat particles like a funnel, merging the heat particles into a bigger electron so it will have enough mass to smash a water molecule out of an amino acid.


pm_your_unique_hobby t1_ir140kz wrote

Im sorry i didnt read the article but is heat particles a technical term?


RegularBasicStranger t1_ir15zwj wrote

it was called flakes in the scientific article that got read by the eyes of mine (old article, not the current one) but heat particles sound more easy to understand since it causes heat to be felt when it gets onto people's heat receptors.

heat receptors are negatively charged so positive electromagnetic force pulls them (electronegativity is a measure of positive electromagnetic force that can reach outside the atom).

so no, it is just a personal term but it is useful to understand why stuff happens, though it lacks in accuracy, producing only a vague prediction of what may happen (professional might be using a better term, but personally not a professional nor writing a thesis so not bothered since personally only want to understand what happened in an ELI5 way).


BinaryFinary98 t1_ir1nv2d wrote

Heat particle? The illusive heateon?


RegularBasicStranger t1_ir4zjuj wrote

cannot find data on heateon so probably not.

heat particles are what electrons and electron shells are made of (their energy is too low, being just a small fraction of electron's so unless they are light speed and become neutrinos, they are undetectable)


kg4jxt t1_ir04t3r wrote

These scientists are about 60 years late to the party. In the 1950s, Harold Urey and Stanley Miller experimented with the formation of amino acids from primordial atmosphere gases (ammonia, methane, and water). Subsequent "Miller experiment" work into the early 1960s extended this study to the formation of peptides and nucleic acids. I read about such experiments in books by Isaac Asimov when I was a kid and actually replicated such an experiment in a HIGH SCHOOL chemistry lab!

The statement in this article attributed to "Graham Cooks . . . the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue’s College of Science, [that] 'This is the first demonstration that primordial molecules, simple amino acids, spontaneously form peptides'" is false.


ZoomedAndDoomed t1_ir082t9 wrote

You misquoted it, the original quote is "This is the first demonstration that primordial molecules, simple amino acids, spontaneously form peptides, the building blocks of life, in droplets of pure water. This is a dramatic discovery." The Miller experiment wasn't the first to discover them in droplets of pure water, miller was the first to discover that primordial molecules, simple amino acids, spontaneously form peptides.


kg4jxt t1_ir4vaxr wrote

Are you making the distinction that the process occurred experimentally in "droplets of pure water"? First of all, by any definition the water in Miller-type experiments is not pure: it contains a mixture of gases. Second, peptides could never form in pure water for the same reason; pure water does not contain the elements necessary to construct amino acids. So the "in pure water" phrase is a bit of mumbo jumbo some creative writer at scitechdaily probably threw in there, not relevant to the quote, imho. I doubt it appears in an original publication on this work.

I have read (many years ago), that although amino acids form readily enough from ammonia and methane as precursors; getting more complex molecules was ever more hit-and-miss in these types of experiments. Partly this was thought to be due to the relatively small quantities of amino acids in the apparatus from the first-stage syntheses. So some modified experiments began with added amino acids to simulate hypothesized concentration effects, and/or adding clay or other substrate that might act to catalyze formation of more complex molecules. I do not have access to journal libraries, so I can't find better than (which does not mention peptide formation).