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Origin of Life Lab Report: by Ceci Simon

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Cecilia Simon

on 12 March 2015

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Transcript of Origin of Life Lab Report: by Ceci Simon

In the intial experiment to study the origin of life, we intended to create coacervates in a lab setting using carbohydrate, gum arabic, and gelatin, and hydrochloric acid. We created a mixture containing a gum arabic solution and the gelatin one. We recorded pH values after adding drops of hydrochloric acid, and then observed the solution under a light microscope on low power and recorded the number of coacervates for each run.
I obtained 3 test tubes filled with the same solution from the initial experiment and added 3 drops of hydrochloric acid to each one. The pH value of all 3 was 3.5. After that, I placed one test tube in the hot water bath for 10 minutes, one in the ice water bath for 10 minutes, and left the control solution at room temp, or sitting in the test tube rack. After time in each different environment, I observed drops from each solution and counted the number of coacervates under my light microscope.
My Experiment
The question I explored in my self designed lab was: How many coacervates will form in different temperatures such as hot, cold, or room environments?
I hypothesized that more coacervates would form in the hot water bath, a similar environment to the hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean. To test my hypothesis, I set up a hot water bath, a cold water bath, and obtained a room temp solution to act as my control to compare the changed test tubes to.
Initial Experiment
After running my experiment, I found 1 large coacervate in the room temp solution, 6 large and 41 small coacervates in the hot bath solution, and 5 large and 30 small coacervates in the ice bath solution. The hot water contained many little coacervates and the ice bath produced the largest coacervates.
My experimental procedure and findings fully supported my hypothesis, which was predicting the most coacervates would appear in the hot water bath. Since there were around 46 coacervates in the solution which had been placed in the hot water bath, this proved to be the solution with the most coacervates, as room temp only had 1 coacervate and the ice bath solution contained 35 coacervates. Scientific evidence has shown that life has existed in aggregates, or aquatic environments, and this heated, primordial sea proved was hypothesized by Oparin to contain the first life forms.
How did living organism arise on Earth? This lab allowed us study the origin of life in a lab setting. Although never been accomplished, this lab intended for us to create coacervates, which are droplets of organic polymers that possess life like characteristics. Similar to Alexander Oparin's experiment, we used carbohydrates, gum arabic, gelatin, and hydrochloric acid. Since cells are a necessary precursor to life, it is important we understand their origin. My experiment tested a different variable, temperature, to compare and contrast the effect of varying environments on coacervate development.

Carolina Origin of Life Kit for AP Biology, 2011.
In conclusion, this experiment gave me insight into the early Earth's environment and allowed me to create life like organic polymers that represented the origin of life. After testing the effect of various temperature environments, I concluded that the origin of life sprung from a primordial sea with high temperatures. My lab experience and supported hypothesis of the most coacervates in hot temperatures strengthens the idea of the origin of life existing in hot aquatic environments.
Results, Introduction, and Discussion
Conclusion and References
Origin of Life Lab Report: by Ceci Simon
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