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Origin of Life Challenge: How did life begin? - Comments

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 1 by brighterstill

Submissions involving the supernatural or that violate physical laws will not be considered.

Ha! Creation "scientists" everywhere are shouting "unfair!"

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 01:32:57 UTC | #881675

SheerReason's Avatar Comment 2 by SheerReason

Submissions involving the supernatural or that violate physical laws will not be considered.

Well, then... So much for my theory of a 900 ft tall Gorilla who created the Universe with an abrupt burst of flatulence!

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 01:42:45 UTC | #881678

Ryou Concord's Avatar Comment 3 by Ryou Concord

Hefty bribe. I'd take it if I knew more about chemistry and biology! I'm very glad this is out there.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 01:53:32 UTC | #881683

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 4 by Neodarwinian

Beginning July 1st, 2011. Deadline December 31st, 2011. Well, we have to hurry if we intend to be included in this. I'll handle the stoichiometry, someone needs to pick up the biochemistry end.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 02:06:50 UTC | #881687

dansam's Avatar Comment 5 by dansam

Although this is a very exciting & worthwhile project, it makes me worry a bit that it has the potential to become the "green goo"! On the one hand that would of course be a great success albeit with the minor side affect of wiping out all other living things.

Have I been reading too much Douglas Adams? Is that even possible?

Dan

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 02:13:03 UTC | #881689

brighterstill's Avatar Comment 6 by brighterstill

Have I been reading too much Douglas Adams? Is that even possible?

Not even remotely possible.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 02:18:33 UTC | #881691

CyrusSpitama's Avatar Comment 7 by CyrusSpitama

inter-dimensional beings did it. Can I have my check now?

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 03:48:28 UTC | #881702

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 8 by rjohn19

For that much money, I'll think of something. Gimme a minute or two here...

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 04:00:16 UTC | #881705

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 9 by Dhamma

Well, then... So much for my theory of a 900 ft tall Gorilla who created the Universe with an abrupt burst of flatulence!

Agree. It's pretty clear these "scientists" don't have an open mind.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 04:33:30 UTC | #881708

Random Jerk's Avatar Comment 10 by Random Jerk

Wow. Hopefully some good proposals come out of this.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 06:48:22 UTC | #881727

M69att's Avatar Comment 11 by M69att

Stuff like this makes me smile and feel hopeful. Success in this area would be another rug pulled out from under the feet of reality deniers everywhere.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 08:30:49 UTC | #881749

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 12 by Alan4discussion

@OP - All submissions shall be in English (minimum 10 point type) and limited to 10 single-spaced pages, including figures, but excluding citations.

Here are some for a start:-

The Herschel Space Observatory using the telescope's heterodyne instrument for the far infrared has revealed the chemical fingerprints of potentially life-enabling organic molecules in the Orion nebula, a nearby stellar nursery in our Milky Way galaxy known to be one of the most prolific chemical factories in space, although the full extent of its chemistry and the pathways for molecule formation are not well understood.

By sifting through the pattern of spikes in the spectrum, astronomers have identified a few common molecules that are precursors to life-enabling molecules, including water, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, methanol, dimethyl ether, hydrogen cyanide, sulfur oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Most past discoveries came from identifying a molecule's pattern in the laboratory, then searching with a radio telescope for that set of spectral lines in a region of sky. So far, more than 140 different molecules have been found that way in interstellar space.

The new study reverses the process. The astronomers will use the GBT to study a cloud of gas and dust in detail, finding all the spectral lines first, then later trying to match them up to molecular patterns using data-mining software. http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/03/orion-nebula-an-organic-molecule-factory-that-is-precursor-to-life.html

As far as the work on protocells goes, the links to Dr. Jack Szostak's works below give clear information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis - Interview with Jack Szostak (5minutes).. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OwSARYTK7w

The Origin of Life - Abiogenesis - Dr. Jack Szostak - YouTube (10 minutes) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 08:44:42 UTC | #881751

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 13 by rod-the-farmer

I wonder how long it will take for the religious fringe to attack this man for trying to be Dog.........

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 09:08:47 UTC | #881757

Tyrosine's Avatar Comment 14 by Tyrosine

Comment 4 by Neodarwinian :

Beginning July 1st, 2011. Deadline December 31st, 2011. Well, we have to hurry if we intend to be included in this. I'll handle the stoichiometry, someone needs to pick up the biochemistry end.

Biochemist here, but I suspect this is a little out of my league ;-)

I have to say though, it seems like a wonderful project. If I were a research scientist I'd be on this like a shot! I do hope it proves successful, or at the very least helps stimulate further research into this area.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 11:06:52 UTC | #881775

sbooder's Avatar Comment 15 by sbooder

I know how life started...but I am not telling!

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 12:03:27 UTC | #881788

Vicar of Art on Earth's Avatar Comment 16 by Vicar of Art on Earth

"Those Magnificent Humans in their Prying Machines," a light comedy about the race to watch the birth of organic material, it will give me a reason to live another forty years to see this movie. Robert Morley could be cloned in time for shooting.

Lonsdale's life is a rags to riches movie just like the race to discover the transition from inorganic to organic. It must be nice to have the money to do something like this.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 12:41:54 UTC | #881795

blitz442's Avatar Comment 17 by blitz442

Jesus and his Dad did it. Now where's my 50K?

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:00:18 UTC | #881815

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 18 by Vorlund

Comment 1 by Adam1 :

Submissions involving the supernatural or that violate physical laws will not be considered.

Ha! Creation "scientists" everywhere are shouting "unfair!"

All submissions shall be in English

This effectively rules out gibberish the common tongue spoken by gibbering post modern creationist pseudoscientist fuckwits.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:03:00 UTC | #881838

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 19 by Agrajag

Comment 15 by sbooder

I know how life started...but I am not telling!

It's common knowledge that
"Life begins at 40!"
Steve

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:44:24 UTC | #881856

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 20 by ZenDruid

Doc Brown did it. There was bird shit on the Delorean when he visited the Precambrian.

Seriously though, it's a good way to permeate the public consciousness. Nothing like an intellectual melee.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 15:44:28 UTC | #881857

Anaximander's Avatar Comment 21 by Anaximander

Atoms arranged themselves to form DNA.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:16:50 UTC | #881873

Chris Boccia's Avatar Comment 22 by Chris Boccia

Comment 16 by Vicar of Art on Earth :

"Those Magnificent Humans in their Prying Machines," a light comedy about the race to watch the birth of organic material, it will give me a reason to live another forty years to see this movie. Robert Morley could be cloned in time for shooting.

Lonsdale's life is a rags to riches movie just like the race to discover the transition from inorganic to organic. It must be nice to have the money to do something like this.

There certainly wasn't ever a transition from inorganic to organic. It was always organic. long chained molecules that are necessary for self-replication HAVE to contain carbon (some say silicon as well, but i doubt that) and are therefore organic by definition. There certainly wasn't an "almost-life-form" made of ionic compounds that transitioned over time to organic compounds.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:45:47 UTC | #881882

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 23 by Alan4discussion

Comment 22 by Chris Boccia

There certainly wasn't ever a transition from inorganic to organic. It was always organic. long chained molecules that are necessary for self-replication HAVE to contain carbon (some say silicon as well, but i doubt that) and are therefore organic by definition. There certainly wasn't an "almost-life-form" made of ionic compounds that transitioned over time to organic compounds.

The evidence coming from astronomers, indicates that the "inorganic to organic" physics and chemistry is in the cosmology and physics of nebulae and stars prior to these molecules being included in planets.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:52:58 UTC | #881883

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 24 by Schrodinger's Cat

2 million dollars ! Starts looking up the recipe for life in my '1001 Recipes' cook book.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 17:30:12 UTC | #881888

Chris Boccia's Avatar Comment 25 by Chris Boccia

Comment 23 by Alan4discussion :

Comment 22 by Chris Boccia

There certainly wasn't ever a transition from inorganic to organic. It was always organic. long chained molecules that are necessary for self-replication HAVE to contain carbon (some say silicon as well, but i doubt that) and are therefore organic by definition. There certainly wasn't an "almost-life-form" made of ionic compounds that transitioned over time to organic compounds.

The evidence coming from astronomers, indicates that the "inorganic to organic" physics and chemistry is in the cosmology and physics of nebulae and stars prior to these molecules being included in planets.

Okay, yes, I understand that before you can have organic compounds, you need carbon (because by definition, an organic compound contains carbon), and before you can have carbon, you need stars to create it. But my argument still stands that life didn't arise from the transition of inorganic to organic on earth: there was carbon around, and those atoms of carbon formed complex organic compounds, and those compounds formed together to create an even more complex self-replicating molecule.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 17:55:37 UTC | #881889

StephenH's Avatar Comment 26 by StephenH

The answer is of course: 42

Which happens to my age... lucky number

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:34:45 UTC | #881916

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

Comment 25 by Chris Boccia

But my argument still stands that life didn't arise from the transition of inorganic to organic on earth: there was carbon around, and those atoms of carbon formed complex organic compounds, and those compounds formed together to create an even more complex self-replicating molecule.

Yes! You are right. The point I was making was that if you were challenged on this, it would be better to refer to the cosmological processes, rather than simply dispute the claim about life.

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:37:56 UTC | #881917

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 28 by Neodarwinian

@ Tyrosine

Your last name wouldn't be kinase, would it?

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 19:56:22 UTC | #881921

Andres Heredia's Avatar Comment 29 by Andres Heredia

WOW that's a lot of money

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 20:28:24 UTC | #881927

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 30 by Agrajag

Comment 29 by Andres Heredia

WOW that's a lot of money

It's kind of an important question. ;-)


Steve

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 21:18:09 UTC | #881947