HL 2 Biology

D.1a: Origin of Life: Organic molecules

<<The origin of life>>

  • Requirements for cells to have arisen from non-living materials:
    1. simple organic molecules available
    2. simple molecules assembled into polymers
    3. the abiotically produced molecules need to have been packaged into structures with different internal chemistry from their surroundings
    4. mechanism to make inheritance possible developed

*availability of simple molecules – needed for precursor for life


The Murchison meteorite (p. 308)

1) The amino acids found in the meteorite with those produced in the Miller-Urey experiment seem to show a similar amount for glycine, alanine, norvaline, isovaline, and aspartic acid. Yet the meteorite has shown a greater amount of a-aminoiso-butyric acid, valine, and proline compared to the Miller-Urey experiment. As for the n-ethylglycine, sarcosine and a-amino-N-butyric acid is produced greater in the experiment than then meteorite.

2) In conclusion, the Earth would of had to experience several meteorites in order for the Earth to be filled with the diverse organic molecules present today. The similarity in the amino acids in the Miller-Urey experiment and the Murchison meteorite supports how the meteorite could have delivered the first organic molecules which could have led to many organism to evolve, which supports the hypothesis of panspermia as well.

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