STATES CHRONICLE – If you ask someone what is the key substance which makes life on Earth possible, they will probably say carbon. This might be the basis of organic chemistry, but a recent research revealed life wouldn’t have been the same if it weren’t for a different chemical. Although it sounds unlikely, this chemical is phosphorus.
Phosphorus holds the secret to life
The biggest step for evolution was the moment when hydrocarbon was converted into other kinds of molecules which contained phosphorus. How this happened has remained unknown to scientists so far, but they might have finally found an answer.
After thorough research, scientists have managed to identify the molecule which undertakes water phosphorylation, when three oxygen atoms and one phosphorus atom stick to other kinds of molecules. This means that this compound might really be the answer to the bugging question regarding how life evolved into more complex cells.
Researchers are still wondering which was the first process to create life. However, no matter what happened when the first life form came into being, one process was necessary for it to work, namely phosphorylation. The study, published in the journal Nature Chemistry, was the first to show that this process occurred within primordial life forms.
The next step is to find evidence of the presence of phosphorus before life came into being
Researchers argue that phosphorylation might have provided the missing link between other processes that eventually led to the first RNA which built the first genes. All that was necessary included water and molecules of diamidophosphates (DAP), which gave birth to the three basic types of compounds which are essential for life to exist.
However, the study is not finished yet. To establish that DAP was the main element which drove life into being, researchers need to find proof of its presence in the primordial pond where everything started. Then, they have to find out where the compound could have come from.
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