Pumice proposed as home to the first life forms: A new hypothesis in Astrobiology journal

Oct 04, 2011
Astrobiology, led by Professor Cady and a prominent international editorial board comprised of leading scientists in the field, is the authoritative resource for the most up-to-date information and perspectives on exciting new research findings and discoveries emanating from interplanetary exploration and terrestrial field and laboratory research programs. The journal is published 10 times a year in print and online, and is the official journal of the Astrobiology Society. Credit: © Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers

The glassy, porous, and once gas-rich rock called pumice may have given rise to early life forms, according to a provocative new hypothesis on the origin of life published in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..

Martin Brasier, Richard Matthewman, and Sean McMahon, University of Oxford (U.K.), and David Wacey, University of Western Australia (Crawley), contend that pumice has "four remarkable properties" that would enable it to have had "a significant role in the origin of life and provided an important habitat for the earliest communities of microorganisms." They describe those four properties in detail in the article "Pumice as a Remarkable Substrate for the ."

To validate their hypothesis, the authors call for laboratory research to test the ability of pumice rock to adsorb from water and create catalysts and new compounds by simulating the thermal cycles, UV light, and other conditions that existed when the first and microbes co-existed.

"The hypothesis that pumice provided a unique physical substrate in which life got its start is exciting and testable," says Sherry L. Cady, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Astrobiology and Professor in the Department of Geology at Portland State University. "Key for astrobiology is whether such rock types preserved evidence of pre-biotic reactions or ancient life forms in the rock record."

Explore further: Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

More information: The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/ast for the next week.

Provided by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rock rafts could be 'cradle of life'

Sep 02, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Floating rafts of volcanic pumice could have played a significant role in the origins of life on Earth, scientists from Oxford University and the University of Western Australia have suggested.

Evidence of ancient hot springs on Mars detailed

Feb 12, 2009

New Rochelle, NY, February 12, 2009 -Data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) suggest the discovery of ancient springs in the Vernal Crater, sites where life forms may have evolved on Mars, according to a report in ...

Recommended for you

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

2 hours ago

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

"Ferrari of space' yields best map of ocean currents

11 hours ago

A satellite dubbed the "Ferrari of space" has yielded the most accurate model of ocean circulation yet, boosting understanding of the seas and a key impact of global warming, scientists said Tuesday.

Researcher studies deformation of tectonic plates

13 hours ago

Sean Bemis put his hands together side by side to demonstrate two plates of the earth's crust with a smooth boundary running between them. But that boundary is not always smooth and those plates do not always ...

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1.2 / 5 (5) Oct 05, 2011
Does this finding conflict with earlier reports of fossils of life in carbonaceous chondrites?
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2011
No. That was published in a Crank journal and the paper was utter crap. They found carbon coating a mineral that forms filaments without any need for life being involved.

So no it doesn't conflict with the paper. The paper's conclusions do not follow from the evidence. Carbon coating an inorganic filament is not a sign of life.

And that is one of the BETTER papers on the site.

Here is the paper.
http://journalofc...100.html

And here is where YOU asked questions and I answered them and then you went away without further comment.
http://www.physor...ife.html

And this statement of mine:
He has NO evidence of that those were anything more than a MgSO4 filament with a carbon coating. NOTHING.
remains true. You didn't even it of course but it is true whether you do so or not.

And here is the other article you ran from:
http://www.physor...ils.html

Ethelred
jsdarkdestruction
3 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2011
did some research, you gotta love this response to critisism, sounds just like oliver.
Official Statement The Journal of Cosmology,
Have the Terrorists Won?

Only a few crackpots and charlatans have denounced the Hoover study. NASA's chief scientist was charged with unprofessional conduct for lying publicly about the Journal of Cosmology and the Hoover paper. The same crackpots, self-promoters, liars, and failures, are quoted repeatedly in the media. However, where is the evidence the Hoover study is not accurate?

Few legitimate scientists have come forward to contest Hoover's findings. Why is that? Because the evidence is solid.

But why have so few scientists come forward to attest to the validity? The answer is: They are afraid. They are terrified. And for good reason.

The status quo and their "hand puppets" will stop at nothing to crush debate about important scientific issues, and this includes slander, defamation, trade libel... they will ruin you. Three hundred
jsdarkdestruction
3 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2011
years ago they would burn you for questioning orthodoxy. Has anything changed?

The scientific community must march according to the tune whistled by those who control the funding. If you don't do as you are told, if you dare to ask the wrong questions, they will destroy you.

JOC offered the scientific community a unique opportunity to debate an important paper, but for the most part they have declined.

The message is: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Or you will be destroyed.

Why is America in decline?

Maybe the terrorists have won.
jsdarkdestruction
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2011
I gave you a 2 on that post oliver, while what you said was pretty ignorant at least you didnt go off on one of your big brother/global warming/kissinger and mao meeting rants. for that i thank you.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.