Researcher have long hypothesized that the first cells evolved in warm, shallow pools of water – until now.
A recent study has produced new evidence that life could have originated in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
Researchers made this conclusion after recreating an environment similar to underwater vents. During the research, experts found that heat, alkalinity and salt present in hydrothermal vents did not negatively affect synthetic cell formation, but it actively favored it.
The research report also added that similar hydrothermal vents are present in other planets, and experts believe that exploring these structures on distant planets could help humans to discover possible alien life.
“In our experiments, we have created one of the essential components of life under conditions that are more reflective of ancient environments than many other laboratory studies. We still don’t know where life first formed, but our study shows that you cannot rule out the possibility of deep-sea hydrothermal vents,” said Dr Sean Jordan, a researcher at University College of London, and the first author of the study, Science Daily reports.
It was Charles Darwin who initially proposed the ‘warm shallow pool of water’ theory to explain the evolution of primitive cells. As per Charles Darwin, simple chemicals in small or shallow bodies of water might form organic compounds when exposed to energy from heat, light or electrical energy generated from lightning.
A few months back, 1,000 scientists from top-rated institutions that include Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Tulane, Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, the National Academy of Sciences, Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry, University of Georgia and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences had issued a joint statement stating that they are a bit skeptical about the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life, as explained by Charles Darwin.