November 4, 2010

Transition Metal Catalysts Led to Origin of Life?

WASHINGTON: Scientists have proposed that a third type of catalyst , apart from biochemicals-such as amino acids and nucleotides and biological catalysts (proteins or ribozymes), was responsible for origin of life on Earth .

According to Harold Morowitz of George Mason University (GMU), Vijayasarathy Srinivasan of GMU, and Eric Smith of the Santa Fe Institute, molecular structures involving transition metal elements (iron, copper, nickel, etc.) and ligands (small organic molecules) could have catalyzed the synthesis of basic biochemicals (monomers) that acted as building blocks for more complex molecules, leading ultimately to the origin of life.

You can read the rest of this article at The Economic Times.