Agriculture
Watering the Air
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders
Bullfrogs
Animals
Living in the Desert
Thieves of a Feather
A Wild Ferret Rise
Behavior
Fighting fat with fat
Pain Expectations
Girls are cool for school
Birds
Cassowaries
Emus
Chicken
Chemistry and Materials
Batteries built by Viruses
Sweeeet! The Skinny on Sugar Substitutes
Sugary Survival Skill
Computers
A New Look at Saturn's rings
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Meet your mysterious relative
An Ancient Feathered Biplane
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Bugs with Gas
A Dire Shortage of Water
A Volcano Wakes Up
Environment
Ready, unplug, drive
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
To Catch a Dragonfly
Finding the Past
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Words of the Distant Past
Sahara Cemetery
Fish
Barracudas
Sturgeons
Perches
Food and Nutrition
Recipe for Health
Chew for Health
How Super Are Superfruits?
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Mastering The GSAT Exam
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Scholarship
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
Math is a real brain bender
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Human Body
Disease Detectives
Music in the Brain
Heavy Sleep
Invertebrates
Giant Squid
Wasps
Daddy Long Legs
Mammals
Vampire Bats
Siberian Husky
Squirrels
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Powering Ball Lightning
The Particle Zoo
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Sweet, Sticky Science
Surprise Visitor
Flower family knows its roots
Reptiles
Rattlesnakes
Cobras
Alligators
Space and Astronomy
A Moon's Icy Spray
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
Roving the Red Planet
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
What is a Noun
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Troubles with Hubble
Reach for the Sky
Weather
Watering the Air
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Add your Article

Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth

Thoughts of meteors hurtling toward Earth usually generate visions of mass extinctions. But some recent studies paint a new picture: Large rocks hurtling in from space may have actually helped spark life on Earth. Nobody would call early Earth a friendly place. Billions of years ago, it started as a red-hot sea of molten rock. But then the surface cooled enough for oceans to form. During that era meteorites slammed into Earth about 1,000 times more frequently than they do today. While these conditions might not seem conducive to life, scientists say they may have been just the recipe needed to jump-start a few life-producing chemical reactions. Geochemist Yoshihiro Furukawa at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan had a theory about how this could happen. When large extraterrestrial objects crashed into Earth’s ancient oceans, they produced enormous heat and pressure that caused objects to vaporize, or turn into gas. Furukawa thought such powerful events may have triggered chemical reactions that generated organic molecules from basic ingredients. To test this theory, he and his colleagues designed a study. To simulate the power of a collision between an extraterrestrial object and an ancient ocean, the scientists used a propellant gun. It keeps objects under high pressure, and when the pressure is released, the gun’s contents are expelled at high speeds. To get the right recipe for such a collision, the scientists combined ingredients commonly found in meteorites and in Earth’s ancient oceans and atmosphere. The scientists mixed carbon, iron and nickel — elements found in the most common type of meteorites — with water, ammonia and nitrogen, which were present in early Earth. The team placed these ingredients inside stainless steel canisters and used the gun to fire them at solid targets. The canisters reached speeds of more than 1 kilometer per second. The researchers hoped to see how a high-temperature, high-velocity impact affected various mixtures of the ingredients. When canisters were fired at the target, the temperatures inside became scorching. They briefly rose to about 4,700 degrees Celsius (nearly 8500 degrees Fahrenheit). The pressure generated inside the canisters by the impact was about 60,000 times that of ordinary atmospheric pressure at sea level. Afterward, the scientists analyzed the contents of the canisters. They recovered a variety of organic molecules, including fatty acids such as those found in cell membranes. The team also found a variety of amines, which are used to create amino acids, the building blocks of life. One test even generated a type of amino acid, called glycine, which is commonly found in proteins. The study shows how conditions on the Earth 4 billion years ago may have spurred amino acid synthesis, or production. Scientists say the study sheds new light on how and when organic molecules appeared on the young Earth. Previous studies have hinted that lightning striking Earth’s ancient atmosphere could have generated organic molecules necessary for life as well. And such studies have also suggested that the chemical reactions around deep-sea hydrothermal vents — where water heated inside the Earth is expelled from cracks in the sea floor — could have produced these molecules.

Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™