Two scientists, Mayer and Schreiber, from the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) claim to have recreated the process which led to the first life on Earth. The scientists set out by recreating the harsh environments deep within Earth that was found 3.8 billion years ago. They then recreated vesicles, the first life forms.
Vesicles are bubble-like structured surrounded by a membrane, similar to a cell. The scientists managed to create and destroy a total of 1,500 vesicles for their experiment, During their study, they found that multiple generations of vesicles survived the harsh conditions by absorbing certain proteins into their membranes.
Mayer says, “We concluded that this way, the vesicles were able to compensate for destructive pressure. As a survival strategy, if you will.” Though the vesicle was destroyed under the harsh conditions, the next generation took on the new protein structure, making it more resilient. Schreiber says that over many years, these vesicles could have finally come up to the surface via eruptions, eventually forming the first cell.
The pair of scientists have written a book about their findings called The First Cell—The Mystery Surrounding the Beginning of Life. The book will be published in July 2020.
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