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Transcript of Early Earth
Primitive Earth provided inorganic building blocks from which organic molecules
could have been made due to the presence of available free energy (hot, high pressure) and
the absence of a significant quantity of oxygen.
Synthesis of Organic Compounds
Miller and Urey showed how it could have started - early Earth conditions were favorable - showed us the production of monomers
How did we get from monomers (amino acids, etc.) to macromolecules like RNA/DNA, proteins, etc.?
= collections of molecules within a membrane-like structure - like putting some amino acids in a soap bubble - these form spontaneously
because they had a lipid "membrane" osmosis could occur = swelling and shrinking, controlled entry of substances
RNA on the scene
RNA probably came first (before DNA) - Why? It is simpler in structure. But this is still debated...
when a protobiont contained a small RNA molecule, it had an advantage = the potential for genetic information
RNA could duplicate pieces of itself (like we've talked about with DNA ) and so it could get longer and longer
RNA can also act as a catalytic enzyme (called a ribozyme) - could encourage metabolism
this could lead to more and more complexity over millions and millions of years
much of this is still found in today's cells - makes sense since these are our common ancestors
trillions of protobionts so lots of differences possible
all contain different combinations of items that could interact and create new items
protobionts could also break off pieces - this could have lead to reproduction by mitosis (asexual reproduction)