Stanley Miller, the chemist whose landmark experiment published in 1953 showed how some of the molecules of life could have formed on a young Earth, left behind boxes of experimental samples that he never analyzed. The first-ever analysis of some of Miller’s old samples has revealed another way that important molecules could have formed on early Earth.
I wish I had been smart enough to use Miller’s ideas on my organic chemistry exams. The ones that said synthesize an amino acid starting from carbon, oxygen and ammonia, for example.
“Put the ingredients in a vessel and apple electricity to a spark gap for 2 weeks. Isoalte the amino acid.”
The answer for almost any organic compound could have been the same.
This is really interesting work but it would appear that the levels of amino acids are quite small. One needs a way to concentrate them so they can become useful for life.
Still a great story here.