Agriculture
Getting the dirt on carbon
Got Milk? How?
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Amphibians
Salamanders
Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
A Spider's Taste for Blood
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
New Elephant-Shrew
Behavior
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
The Science Fair Circuit
Ear pain, weight gain
Birds
Albatrosses
Peafowl
Cassowaries
Chemistry and Materials
Batteries built by Viruses
Mother-of-Pearl on Ice
Toxic Dirt + Avian Flu = Science Fair Success
Computers
Music of the Future
Getting in Touch with Touch
Play for Science
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Middle school science adventures
An Ancient Feathered Biplane
A Living Fossil
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Warmest Year on Record
Life under Ice
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Environment
Food Web Woes
Acid Snails
Saving Wetlands
Finding the Past
Stonehenge Settlement
Sahara Cemetery
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Fish
Goldfish
Nurse Sharks
Seahorses
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Strong Bones for Life
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exam Preparation
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Losing with Heads or Tails
Human Body
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Invertebrates
Insects
Lice
Cockroaches
Mammals
Raccoons
Humpback Whales
Chihuahuas
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
How children learn
Physics
Road Bumps
Einstein's Skateboard
Dreams of Floating in Space
Plants
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Sweet, Sticky Science
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Reptiles
Box Turtles
Tortoises
Crocodiles
Space and Astronomy
Evidence of a Wet Mars
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
A Star's Belt of Dust and Rocks
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Ready, unplug, drive
Robots on a Rocky Road
Charged cars that would charge
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Earth's Poles in Peril
Where rivers run uphill
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™