Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Life May Have Evolved In Ice

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the where-else-would-it-evolve-i-tell-you-not-jersey dept.

Biotech 159

Philip Bailey writes "An article in this month's Discover Magazine claims that some of the fundamental organic molecules required for the development of life could have spontaneously arisen within ice. Scientist Stanley Miller was responsible for seminal experiments in the 1950s in this area. He used sparks and a mixture of inorganic chemicals to test his theories, but turned to low temperature experiments in later years. He was able to create the constituents of RNA and proteins from a mixture of cyanide, ammonia and ice in trials lasting up to 25 years. A process known as eutectic freezing is thought to be the basis of these results: small pockets of liquid water, in which foreign molecules are concentrated enormously, increases the reaction rates, and more than compensates for temperature-related slowing."

cancel ×

159 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Star Trek (2, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286402)

He should probably avoid Q if he wants to push up his success rate.

Re:Star Trek (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286412)

No tampering with the primordial soup, such as pouring in a tall steaming mug of the frosty piss!
 

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286740)

More like primordial gazpacho.

Re:Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286756)

I suspect that Australian or American beer was poured in; how else to explain the degraded nature of humanity?

Re:Star Trek (0, Redundant)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286950)

No tampering with the primordial soup

Soup?

I have imbibed entire nascent civilsations with a single swig of my primordial G&T.

Undefeated Patriots DEFEATED !!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286966)

Undefeated Patriots DEFEATED !!!!

go giants! (0, Offtopic)

Vvaghel1 (1008177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286416)

guess i'm one of the few ppl w/ the superbowl and slashdot on my monitor.

first post!

Re:go giants! (-1, Offtopic)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286444)

Naa. I have slashdot and espn side-by-side, with the superbowl on the tv.

Half-time sucks anyway, I watch it for the game.

EXTREME DANGER READ NOW!!! (3, Funny)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286654)

Sir, do you realize what you are doing is illegal in nerddom? Having ESPN and Slashdot in the same window could result in a nerd-jock cancellation reaction resulting in the destruction of the universe as we know it? Your nerd license has been officially revoked for participating in this dangerous behaviour.

Re:EXTREME DANGER READ NOW!!! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287186)

Hm... this "universe"... feels different somehow...

Re:EXTREME DANGER READ NOW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287492)

I need help. I am suffocating. Repeat. I need help. I am suffocating.

Re:go giants! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286918)

Jews suck at football so New York can never win.

What's that? They hired a bunch of niggers?

Well I guess the Giants have a chance.

Thats nothing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286426)

Niggers evolved in shit!

amirite?

xxx (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286428)

Free XXX - uncensored
The-Free-Porn-King.com The #1 sex pick of The King. Extremely good porn - 100% Free!
Simple Free XXX
SimpleFreePorn.com A must see porn site. Watch really good XXX - 100% Free!
Free porn videos
FreePorn247.org/xxx Free xxx pictures and videos No Credit Card Needed!
100% Free XXX Porn
FreePornhandbook.com Our #1 Suggestion: Get all your Free Porn here!
Dirty XXX Porn
www.EverythingFreePorn.com/XXX Naked Girls in Hardcore Adult Porn 100,000 Videos/Pics - Free Access
Free Hardcore Sex
www.bestinternetxxx.com Dirty Uncensored Porn XXX Videos, Pictures, More
The Only Free Porn Site
www.MyFreePaysite.com Free full-length DVD-quality movies No credit cards, no trick, no catch
Free XXX Porn
Hardcore-Xxx-Gonzo.com Links to the Hottest Babes 1000s of Pictures and Videos
100% usensurert SexChat
www.sexchatten.no Mange kåte og nakne damer som venter på deg! One2one helt anonymt
Free Chat Webcam Online
www.Mychat-free.com Top rated webcam sites. Mychat-free provides chat technology to singles
Bear Naked® Free food
www.BearNaked.com Order Bear Naked Trail Mix Online & Get a Free Sample of a New Flavor!
Get Free food Samples
www.QualityHealth.com/Free Check Your Zip Code For Shipping 100% Free
Free Publix Gift Card
Food-Drink-RewardBlvd.com Get A $500 Publix Grocery Gift Card Free. See Site For Details!
Free Food Samples
www.FreeStuffHunter.com Come See Our Huge Selection of Free Samples! All Your Favorite Stores.
Food Stamp Program
InstantGrantSearch.com/FoodStamps Government Food Assistance. Apply now to get a Govt. ATM card
Kudzu Dish and Dine Promo
Kudzu.com/eat Win a Jacksonville $25 Restaurant Certificate from Restaurant.com!
Free Food
www.Pronto.com Find Free Food at Great Prices.
Free Samples
www.freecoupons.biz Grocery, Baby, Beauty Samples, Etc. Printable Coupons, Codes & More
Free Food
shopping.yahoo.com Find Low Prices and Multiple Offers Free Food
Spam
www.cloudmark.com Stops Spam & Fraud Instantly! Best Spam Filter (PC World). Free Trial
Handsfree Spam Solution
www.mimecast.com/spam-protection Zero admin spam protection as a service. Mimecast Online.
Award Winning Spam Filter
www.ClearMyMail.com PC Answers Editors Choice Award Blocks 100% of all spam, guaranteed
Anti Spam Software
gfi.com/mailessentials for Exchange & other mail servers. Spam filtering made easy! Free d/l
2008 Norton AntiVirus
www.Norton.com Just released! World's premier antivirus software. Download now.
Anti Spam Software
NoSpamToday.com/AntiSpam SpamAssassin(TM) for Windows and Linux Support Forum. Free Download.
Spam and Virus Free Email
www.BlackSun.ca/ Intelligent Spam and Virus killers Included Free on all Hosting plans
Protect Your Computer NOW
www.spamweed.com Spamweed, State-Of-The-Art Anti-Spam Solution. Free Trial!
101 Anti virus ?
www.Antii-Virus.info All about Anti virus Are you ready ?
Fix Your Computer:
www.ErrorSmart.com Fix PC. Remove Errors. Clean System Complete Scan. Takes 6 Mins.

  Sponsored Links

VIAGRA ® Official Site
www.VIAGRA.com Learn the Facts About VIAGRA, an Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Treatment
Online ED Medication
KwikMed.com Legal Online Diagnosis FDA Approved Low Prices And Next Day Delivery!
Vicerex Male Enhancement
www.vicerex.com Get A Hard Erection Fast & Safe Last For Days, She'll remember you
ViSwiss- '07 Top Sex Pill
www.ViSwiss.com 7 Years Research, No Side Effects! Only $1.99/Pill, 20 Minute Results
Blue Pills Online
www.buylowdrugs.com/viagra.php Effective and Safe Medications. Fast and Secure order. FDA Approved
Try Our Trial Pak - You
BestNationalPharmacy.com/Sildenafil Will Return For More. Since 2005. From Licensed Pharmacist. Generic.
"Don't Waste Your Money"
EnhancementAdvice.com/Viagra How Do Male Enhancements Stack Up! Get the truth and learn the facts...
The Mens Choice for ED
TheMensChoice.com/Viagra.html An Informative review of the Ingredients, details, pros & cons.
Wholesale Prescriptions
www.CanadianPharmacyMeds.com/viagra Buy Drugs at Wholesale Prices. We Beat All Competitors' Prices.
Where To Buy Online ?
ShopForPills.net/Forum/Viagra Low as $1.43$. Forum Discussion. Compare Prices and Online Stores.
Speak with a Nurse
www.HealthCompassAtoZ.com Experienced Nurses here to help you Call to learn more: 1-866-488-6976
Pediatrician?s Office
BeaconPediatrics.com Make An Appt With Our Pediatrician. We Offer Well And Sick Visits.
Ask A Doctor Online Now
Health.JustAnswer.com/Ask-Doctor 36 Doctors, Nurses are Online Ask a Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Doctor Directory
RevolutionHealth.com Find a Great Doctor in Your Area. Read Doctor Reviews. Rate a Doc.
Ask A Doctor, On Line
www.AskaDoctorNOW.com Live 24 X 7, All Days ! Immediate Help, NOW
Research Your Doctor/MD
www.HealthGrades.com Instantly find and compare doctors. View experience/performance data.
Get Doctor Reviews
www.physicianreports.com Rate a doctor. See doctor reviews. It's free, simple and private.

Re:xxx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286570)

?

I don't get it.

Is this some new meme?

perforce

Re:xxx (1)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287934)

Someone do me a favor, and get this posters IP. I will personally strangle him, with my bare hands until dead.

Ice... (4, Interesting)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286468)

Was the earth even cold enough back then to have that much ice? My understanding is that life began about 3 billion years ago, and that Hadean Earth pretty much lasted until then.

Re:Ice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286574)

comets could have brought ice and life to earth

Re:Ice... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286688)

Hm, ice would evaporate quickly and never survive a trip through the atmosphere, and in space it would have been much too cold to form temporary pockets of water. Also, where would the lightning come from which generated the first more complex molecules which later formed RNA etc.?

Re:Ice... (0, Offtopic)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287396)

and in space it would have been much too cold to form temporary pockets of water.

No. No. In space, no one can hear you scream. Geez.

Re:Ice... (1)

Spookticus (985296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287572)

why is it important that comets brought ice to earth...thats like saying you took a cup of water to the ocean.

Re:Ice ... & full Greenhouse Effect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286602)

Indeed, especially since that was of course before cyanbacteria & friends turned off the enormous greenhouse effect by converting nearly all the CO2 to Oxygen - which then caused Snowball Earth and nearly killed life again (a chain of events the first intelligent form of life on this planet might want to keep in mind). I guess sol was much dimmer back then so that balanced out, or the intense vulcanism in on the young earth prevented much of the sunlight from reaching earth...

Re:Ice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286622)

That depends on which theory you subscribe to... There is one which says that Earth may have been a giant snowball at some point in the past.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowball_Earth [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ice... (5, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286668)

Closer to four billion years ago (at least 3.7 billion in any case). And the conclusion here is not that life evolved in ice, but that it may have. It's possible. That has less significance for history on Earth as it does on other worlds...

Re:Ice... (1)

rssrss (686344) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286750)

"Was the earth even cold enough back then to have that much ice?"

Sure. The Hummer hadn't been invented back then.

Re:Ice... (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286820)

Was the earth even cold enough back then to have that much ice?

Possibly.

One of the ongoing problems in paleobiology is the "early quiet sun". Solar models, which we now know to be extremely accurate based on solar neutrino measurements, show that the sun was considerably dimmer in the distant past. So dim that by any reasonable standard we would expect the Earth to be substantially covered with... ice.

A mechanism that would cause life to form in an icy environment would give a lot of answers to open questions.

Google "standard solar model", "early quiet sun" and "Sudbury Neutrino Observatory" for some of the background on this.

Re:Ice... (4, Funny)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286880)

The only result for "early quiet sun" is a hit on some site talking about early Brian Eno recordings...

Re:Ice... (4, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287030)

I believe what you should be searching for is "faint young sun", and I learned about it in my introductory astronomy class so it's not just made up. The sun had about 70% of its current output back then.

Re:Ice... (1)

pabrown85 (1128059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287740)

It's just another day on Google.

Re:Ice... (0)

Konstanze_Boa (1054648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286998)

Indeed: Ice, and we have a 'framework' a basic structure that would concentrate these molecules and over many, many years lead to a condition or more complex composition that would make life possible OR would it make these molecules more useful for the/an animating force??! I am suspicious of any non-animate material infusing itself with the property of 'living' while and where no evident life process would or was already in place.(what was the template these chemicals and molecules used that said,"...hey, get ready to support or become living..." That is, the definition of life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life [wikipedia.org] "Life is a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects, i.e. non-life, and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. A physical characteristic of life is that it feeds on negative entropy.[1][2] In more detail, according to physicists such as John Bernal, Erwin Schrödinger, Wigner, and John Avery, life is a member of the class of phenomena which are open or continuous systems able to decrease their internal entropy at the expense of substances or free energy taken in from the environment and subsequently rejected in a degraded form (see: entropy and life)" Is life an assortment of 'life' sustaining chemical elements in a peculiar environment, or, is it an animating force that seeks to function universally and succeeds only in those environments and conditions that exist in a very narrow range of temperature and nutritional requirements in our universe?!?? Clearly, since the earth has life and as yet, no other planet in our solar system appears to have or have had life at anytime, the earth could have sustained a DIFFERENT kind of life once or a PRE-LIFE matrix could have been here that rendered the earth useful for that life-animating force or chemical-electrical condition that represents life or pre-life. SO if it were evolution-why evolve here and not elsewhere? Life on mars ran into catastrophic environmental change caused by adaptively evolving life? Venus, had life that ran up the greenhouse gas bill too fast and far for its own good-or are they still there? We really need to put this persons experiment to the test not only on this planet but on Mars and Venus and see what we get. Objective: Do we get run away greenhouse and martian environments in 20 or 30 years out there?

Re:Ice... (4, Informative)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287072)

I don't think you're getting the beauty of this. There is no need for the involvement of a special animating force, all thats required are the "forces" we already see as behind everything else thats going on at a molecular level (ie electrostatic). Under certain conditions (adsorbing to the ice surface and being in high concentrations in a cold environment) the would-be collection of random atoms assume a more stable state by reacting with each other and eventually forming compounds like adenine.

Re:Ice... (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287228)

One of the ongoing problems in paleobiology is the "early quiet sun". Solar models, which we now know to be extremely accurate based on solar neutrino measurements, show that the sun was considerably dimmer in the distant past. So dim that by any reasonable standard we would expect the Earth to be substantially covered with... ice.

Yes, but the atmosphere makeup has a big effect also, and the nature of the early atmosphere is still up in the air (pun). The planet itself was also warmer back then due to active volcanism from a closer moon and heat left over from formation.
     

Re:Ice... (1, Redundant)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286886)

Yes, "Hadean Earth pretty much lasted until then", give or take a billion years or so, pretty much.

Keep in mind that multicellular life has only existed for the past 200 million years, so these aren't exactly coffee breaks we're talking about. We already knew that ice can cover most of the earth within a few millenia, and as we are quickly finding out, it can disappear even faster than that if you put in a little effort. Ice reflects light, cooling off the earth, and water absorbs light, warming it, so both extremes are stable. This pleasant assortment of varied climates isn't necessarily inevitable or stable at all. According to the iceball-earth theory, the thing that eventually stopped it was volcanic activity, which put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The Earth probably has about another billion years of useful life left before the sun has its midlife crisis, so this party is "almost over" so to speak. But we're talking about time scales that render irrelevant little things like global warming and human-triggered melting of the poles- minor events that have consequences for only a few million years. We're releasing carbon that was buried during the swampy Carboniferous era, which was only a few hundred million years ago- practically last week. Once we're gone, the carbon is going to condense on the ground in the form of plant matter, get buried again over millions of years as before, and someone will dig it up again, and burn it in one of the great cycles of life.

With a billion years left, the Earth probably has time for about three or four more infestations of technological species like us, species that communicate, make tools, and burn things. We probably will just happen to have been the first in a series. Not much of our crap will remain, but just imagine what the impact on human culture would have been if we kept digging up stuff previously buried by a former technological species. I wish I could be around when it eventually happens, to see whether we'll be reviled, worshiped, or ignored.

Re:Ice... (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287054)

Keep in mind that multicellular life has only existed for the past 200 million years

You might want to check your facts [wikipedia.org] .

And nothing I have ever read has indicated that "Earth probably has about another billion years of useful life left before the sun has its midlife crisis"; everything has always said 3 to 5 billion years.

Re:Ice... (1, Redundant)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287982)

You might want to check your facts.

Yeah, a few hundred million years here, a few hundred million there, and soon you're talking about a seriously long time. But if you look at that timeline, an animal with the brains required for technology would have been wildly improbable more than 200 million years ago ago. The Cambrian explosion was 500 million years ago, but for a long time after that there weren't really any good brains to work with yet- just reptilian and amphibian structures. The neocortex evolved very recently, and here we are. I don't think we'll be the last animals to have conversations like this one. Animals have been getting smarter and smarter in general.

everything has always said 3 to 5 billion years.

That's from the Sun's point of view. While it's true that we do have 3 billion years until the oceans are completely boiled away, and 5 billion before the actual red giant phase, in only 1 billion years the solar output will be 10% greater than today's and the Earth will experience a runaway greenhouse effect that will raise its temperature by 50-100 degrees, making it resemble Venus.

Re:Ice... (1)

G-funk (22712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287802)

Are we burning fossil fuels from a few hundred million years ago, or is multicelluar life only 200 million years old?

Thank You! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286474)

So, the layout change was just for that one article? Please say yes...

I'm so happy to see things back to normal for this article -- you've no idea.

Re:Thank You! (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286510)

Not quite, although it only seems to be accessable through the "idle" section, from there you can access any other section and article summary, similar in fashion to the firehose. Once you click "read more," however, the articles are presented in the good old fashion, save for 'idle' articles.

Re:Thank You! (1)

Wingnut64 (446382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286774)

You can change it back to the original format under 'Comments' in your user preferences.

Reminds me of a classic Robert Frost poem (4, Funny)

sweet_petunias_full_ (1091547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286482)


Some say the world evolved in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

To be sure, some sparks were still needed for the ice theory but there you have it.

oblig. (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286498)

I, for one, welcome our new penguin overlords.

All hail Tux!

Re:oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286896)

A meme joke is only obligatory when it's actually funny...

that's the answer! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286940)

The missing ingredient! Life evolved out of penguin poop!

Why so few cryophiles? (5, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286512)

Although I can certainly see how the physics of freezing would help concentrate biological precursors, I would expect an icy-origin to have left more evidence in the form of cryophilic biodiversity. With an icy origin, ice-tolerant organisms should have arisen quite early. Indeed they would have probably been the first life forms and ice-adapted life would have been quite common. Unless the Earth experienced a 100% ice-free period, descendants of those original cryophiles would be with us to this day. Moreover, many "normal" species would still arbor a shared genetic basis for evolving ice-tolerance or cryophilic lifestyles.

Instead, we seem to see limited scattering species that have independently evolved various forms of ice-tolerance. I could be wrong. If so, I'd love to hear if biologists have found evidence for a widely shared mechanism for ice-tolerance that speaks to a frozen beginning.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (4, Interesting)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286596)

That's a very good point - given that the simplest life forms we have found so far (in terms of the length of the dna) are ones that are evolved for normal (ie-non icy) conditions. However its interesting to note that for most bacteria being frozen is not lethal (although I'm not 100% sure on this), rather it just stops doing anything until it thaws and then continues on.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (3, Funny)

Epistax (544591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286660)

I thought everyone knew this. Cryophiles taste awesome.

Watermelon snow (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286678)

Ever heard of watermelon snow? Or algae that lives on ice(and has a nice watermelon scent)? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_algae/ [wikipedia.org] But, I definitely agree, why aren't cryophiles so much more common?

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

Spaseboy (185521) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286698)

I think it's more interesting to show that on planets with no liquid water but with ice, there is a chance of life.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (3, Interesting)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286704)

Unless the Earth experienced a 100% ice-free period, descendants of those original cryophiles would be with us to this day.
I believe that is the case. A few very large volcanic eruptions increased the CO2 and caused high temperatures and no polar ice caps. I think this is one of the theories as to why we have such large oil deposits. Without the polar ice caps the ocean currents stopped flowing, and the CO2 in the atmosphere was removed very slowly by algea that died and sank to the ocean floor and in the right areas were trapped and converted into an oil deposit.

Of course it is a little bit more involved than that and this is only my vague layman understanding. Someone else can fill in all the details.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286890)

Actually, most of the world outside the US has come to the conclusion that oil deposits are inorganic in nature. It explains a lot, including why some old dry wells are spontaneously refilling from some deeper source.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287178)

no, the theory that oil has a non-biological origin is still a minority opinion, and for good reason.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287952)

Actually, the idea is just some oil companies wet dream to counter the inevitable economic reality of peak oil. It adds nothing in the way of explaination.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (2, Informative)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286934)

This is completely off-topic, but the event I mentioned is called an Anoxic Event ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anoxic_event [wikipedia.org] ) and how this relates to oil production is talked about in this fascinating documentary
http://abc.net.au/science/crude/ [abc.net.au]

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286798)

Well they think this rock has been completely frozen over and completely thawed out a couple times and we still here so that should count for some cryophilae. The other thing is the research detected RNA chains and most life (on Earth anyways) is DNA based.

Oxygen Catastrophe? (3, Interesting)

Cybrex (156654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286898)

I'm in no way qualified to even speak on this subject, but could it be that the Oxygen Catastrophe [en.wikipedia] , in wiping out the great majority of life on Earth, provided sufficient selective pressure that any previous bias toward cryophilic life was effectively erased? I'm just speculating wildly here.

Re:Oxygen Catastrophe? (2, Informative)

OzRoy (602691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287230)

Except the Oxygen Catastrophe caused the first ice age.

With ice in abundance the ice tolerant creatures have just as much, maybe a greater chance of surviving.

Re:Oxygen Catastrophe? (2, Insightful)

guywcole (984149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22288084)

Didn't the Oxygen Catastrophe create a "snowball earth" as it removed the vast majority of CO2 from the atmosphere and lowered global temperatures by something like 25 deg. C?

I would think that the Oxygen Catastrophe would have selected more towards the cryophiles, not away. This, also, is wild speculation.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (3, Interesting)

Zebraheaded (1229302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286954)

From what I remember, there's been a fair amount of species found that have developed a tolerance for cold temperatures; but there's been very limited results of research into obligate psychrophiles, which would have more likely evolved in a cold environment. I think this field is one of those areas of bacterial research that is going to be very slow in developing due to the incredible difficulty of culturing these kinds of organisms in vitro. One of my old professors published a very interesting paper on finding ways to isolate these difficult organisms: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/296/5570/1127?ijkey=2zqckfPCzt9z2&keytype=ref&siteid=sci [sciencemag.org]

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (2, Insightful)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287038)

My impression from the article is that a cold, ice environment facilitates the creation of single nucleotides (and obviously other molecules) from "scratch' due to 1) the ice surface acting as a catalyst, and 2) water tending to form into crystals (a more stable arrangement in cold temperatures) which requires the exclusion of other molecules to elsewhere and hence small pockets with high concentrations of molecules with similar polarity. Basically the first phenomenon is a lowering of the Activation energy (here an addition reaction of cyanide to itself and then to ammonia; actually if anyone knows the proposed mechanism for the formation of adenine I would be really interested in seeing it)and the second is just raising the concentrations of the reagents. Now that creates an environment more conducive to the formation of adenine than a "primal soup", but relative to the use of enzymes and selective uptake of precursor molecules (as done by cells) this is not an advantageous process. So basically the original cryophiles would be outcompeted by their descendants. I hope that was clear enough

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287190)

Although "Ice Worms" are a product of a mutation, it was a single mutation and therefore may well be a throwback to an earlier form.

Re:Why so few cryophiles? (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287314)

This is an excellent point - what you describe is the most natural/parsimonious expectation from the theory. However, I think there is enough wiggle room to evade this objection. Perhaps the ancestoral cyrophiles relied on cyanide snowing from the sky. Or perhaps once life evolved sufficient complexity, it benefited greatly from escaping the icy womb. Then temperate life quickly evolves and eventually reinvades the cryophile niches and drives the ancestoral forms to extinction. (E.g. imagine cetacians driving fish to extinction.) Another possibility (a remote but exciting one) is that the ancestoral cryophiles are still there, but we didn't know how to look for them.

That's just cold dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22286566)

Zonk, I always suspected you had ice running through your veins.

Some say that life evolved in fire... (4, Interesting)

lennier (44736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286568)

Some say in ice
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire
But if it had to bootstrap twice
I think I know enough of genes
To say that for mutation ice
Is also keen
And would suffice

Re:Some say that life evolved in fire... (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286610)

Very nice adaptation of Robert Frost.

Re:Some say that life evolved in fire... (1)

Cybrex (156654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286908)

Oh damn. Now I wish I hadn't commented so I could mod you up. Well done!

And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (-1, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286644)

so friggin what? Let's ask and answer some questions that matter **here** and **now**.

Does it really matter how life evolved 200 million or 6000 years ago (depending to which KoolAid you drink)? Answering these questions do nothing to change the important issues of today and the future. We're here so let's make the most of it.

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (4, Insightful)

teh moges (875080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286700)

Knowing where something came from allows more insight into where it is going...

The history tells the future argument (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287150)

Therefore all computer science students should spend a few months hammering out code on punch cards and paper tape. That will give them great insight into what computers will be like in ten years time.

To paraphrase: bullshit.

Re:The history tells the future argument (3, Insightful)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287390)

I'd argue that a good hardware design (digital logic, verilog, gate construction, basic circuit design) course and an assembly language course would be invaluable to the modern computer science major.

Re:The history tells the future argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287476)

Yours is bullshit. All computer science students should know about punch cards and paper tape, and know how/why we ended up where we are now. Since we are not creators of life [yet], the only feasible way to know such things about life is to perform experiments. Other way is to travel around galaxies looking for similar conditions and observing them.

Re:The history tells the future argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287508)

On the other hand, it helps to know the initial conditions of the system when one is trying to fit experimental data to a mathematical model.

Besides, what does computer programming have to do with computer science? It's like a comparison between an accountant and a mathematician. They can both add numbers together, but only one of them is a scientist.

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286706)

Please open your mind a little. This has, potentially, implications for possibilities of life elsewhere than on Earth...

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (2, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286712)

Answering these questions do nothing to change the important issues of today and the future.
Knowing how life began is a very important part of understanding life in general. This is relevant to the important issue of making me a cyborg body before my current one wears out.

Give yourself a pat on the back, and -10 modpoints (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286714)

Yes.

If we want to look for life on other planets then this research may help us, if it can be shown life is possible or even likely on frozen planets.

"We're here so let's make the most of it."

Yeah, let's not study ourselves, our origins, or science at all. Why bother with history? We're here, lets make the most of it.

Genius.

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (3, Insightful)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286720)

Yes, it does really matter. Knowing how life evolved gives us insights into how life works here and now. Answering these questions most certainly WILL change issues of today. And, even if they don't, who cares? It's knowledge. Humans have this insatiable urge to know everything they can, leading to today's technologically and medically advanced world. However, occasionally we get people who decry the process without understanding it.

you'd better believe it (2, Insightful)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286788)

Does it matter, yes it does. In fact, there is big big money in finding simple very primitive organisms. Primitive organisms are easy to engineer organisms, which means that it is easy to turn them into oil making machines, which means big bucks.

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (3, Insightful)

Musrum (779646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286830)

If we all had that sort of attitude, we would still be banging rocks together...

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287172)

Probably a Patriot fan - calm down man, it ain't the end of life. ;-)

Re:And it might have evolved in a Chicken McNugget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287450)

Nigga you slow!

what does it mean ? (3, Insightful)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286744)

I think they are saying that the molecular precursors to life on earth, can be created in ice. We see large chunks of flying ice in the universe. Our planet may have been implanted with the required precursors for life from ice flying into the planet.

I don't know so much that they are intending to say that the earliest life forms were created in ice.

But I don't know, I didn't read the article. Just taking a break from the superbowl.

Re:what does it mean ? (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286984)

I believe what they're saying is that in ice, any pockets of water that form will concentrate all of the ingredients for life (that won't freeze, and will percolate to any liquid). The issue is that frozen comets and such, are far too cold for even these tiny pockets of concentrated ingredients to form, but I could be wrong.

This probably explains (-1, Flamebait)

Ranger (1783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286856)

why some women are frigid.

Discover Magazine (1)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286872)

...not Discovery.

Pedantic, yes, but errors in the summary irritate me no end.

Ice Ice Baby... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22286912)

He was able to create the constituents of RNA and proteins from a mixture of cyanide, ammonia and ice in trials lasting up to 25 years.

Another early experiment, in which he added Vanilla [wikipedia.org] to the mix still haunts Professor Miller to this day.

Chuck Norris answered this recently. (2)

doomy (7461) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287050)

According to him:

"It's funny. It's cute. But here's what I really think about the theory of evolution: It's not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures."

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=52567 [worldnetdaily.com]

Question: Does bacteria grow faster in ice now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287080)

I have noticed when I freeze tap water or bottled water when I defrost it now its full of bacteria which just started happening since this summer. Are new cold/ice bacterias being released from the polar caps melting? Or are plastic bottles now cheaper and disintegrating when frozen?

The Norse had it right!!! (2, Informative)

belligerent0001 (966585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287124)

I always knew that the ancient Nordic legends made infinitely more sense.... In the beginning, Ginnungagap yawned across the great void between the realms of fire and cold. When the warm air from the south met the cold air from the north, the ice of Ginnungagap began to melt. Drop by drop fell forming Ymir, the Frost Giant and first living thing of all. And from Ymir sprang the race of Frost Giants. The drops of melting ice from Ginnungagap also formed Audhumla, the primal cow. Her milk nourished Ymir at the start of creation. As Audhumla licked and licked at the ice of Ginnungagap, she revealed something frozen in the ice. She licked for days and finally Buri, the first man, was freed from his frozen prison. Buri, had a son, Bor, who married Bestla, the daughter of a Frost Giant. They in turn had three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve. These were the first gods. Stick that in your frankincense burner and...well burn it...

Life May Have Evolved In Ice? (1)

Melbourne Pete (1204418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287144)

I take it they have met my ex.

Damn it. (3, Funny)

naturalog (1123935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287154)

Now all the crazy evangelicals will be saying that scientists think we all came from ice cubes.

ashes to ashes..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287160)

it's ?safe? & easy to conclude, if we were derived from (frozen) muck. &, as in the randoidian 'school' of lazy-is-fair, every man for himself, there's just no responsibility for any illegal/immoral behaviors. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/01/military.suicides/index.html [cnn.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:ashes to ashes..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22287174)

you have to be the worst troll ever.

eat it shitfucker.

I'd believe it started in the YELLOW ice... (2, Funny)

csoto (220540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287418)

but that would be kind of a chicken-and-egg thing, now wouldn't it?

Irony (1)

mwillems (266506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287630)

The sad irony is that Himmler and other leading Nazis believed something somewhat similar, namely that Aryans were created in cosmic ice (which then rained down on earth and spawned Germanic tribes).

Seriously.

Life May Have Evolved In Ice? (1)

madbawa (929673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287750)

Definitely. I knew that the first time I took ice. Oh its a magical thing...

Re:Life May Have Evolved In Ice? (1)

splashbot (1179993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22288120)

Life may have evolved in (insert sentient/intelligent substance here)?

Earth's Temp (2, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287902)

So will global warming stop evolution?

Utmost respect for Dr Millers work. (2, Insightful)

killmofasta (460565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22287956)

I have read Dr. Stanley Miller's work sine the 80s, He is a meticulous and persistant with his experiments. His conjectures run all over the map. I saw a lecture given by him in the early 90s, when he was progressing away from primordial soup. What is interesting is that He is moving towards the theories of Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe that life evolved on comets. Of all the 'science' and 'scientists' its after reading their work, and discussing it with post-docs from MIT, that I have a great respect for their work.

The problem about the origin of life, (which has a direct impact on the evaluation of Drake's equation) is how hard is it to make a molecule, by 'chance' that is selectively self-replicating. Molecular biology is a very young field.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>