Miller experiment, Science

Miller's  Experiment

The above theory could be tested by  recreating  in  the laboratory on a small scale, the conditions which must have existed when life originated on the earth.  


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Miller, an American biologist subjected a gaseous mixture of methane, ammonia, water vapour and hydrogen in a closed flask at 80°C  to electric sparking, foa week. This mixture, with its temperature, and electric discharge through it, represented a situation  that might have prevailed on the earth before  life came into existence. When the contents of  the flask were examined a week later, theywere found to have amino acids which are essential for the formation of  proteins. As we have said before, proteins are the essential building blocks for living organisms. With the making, in  the laboratory, of molecules related  to life, the credibility of  the Oparin-Haldane theory of chemical evolution greatly increased. Many amino acids have been obtained, since by this method. So also some sugars and nitrogenous bases which are otherwise found in the nucleus of  a cell, which is a unit of  living organisms. Similar experiments have led to the production of various compounds which form many kinds of  fats and important natural pigments. Miller's experiment  thus forms a turning point  in our approach to the problem of  the origin of  life. The evidence, we get from Miller's  experiment, is supported by evidence of  similar chemical reactions occurring in  space even today. Chemical analysis of a meteorite which fell near Murchi Murchison in Australia, in  1969, shqwed the presence of  organmolecules. The  types and relative proportions of  these molecules were very similar to the products  formed in Miller's  experiment. The presence of organic molecules like methane, ethane, formaldehyde, acetyle'ne etc. has been shown in interstellar space by radioastronomy also.  

Posted Date: 9/28/2012 3:11:41 AM | Location : United States

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