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Miller-Urey Experiment - Essay Example

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The scientific community really wondered as to the kind of environment that culminated into life. The scientific community was extremely confused as to what kind of environment needs to be created in…
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Miller-Urey Experiment
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"Miller-Urey Experiment"

Download file to see previous pages There is no denying the fact that this experiment till date is regarded to be a classic experiment pertaining to the origins of life. This experiment was carried on by Harold C Urey and Stanley L Miller at the University of Chicago in the year 1953.
The scientific community was in doubt about the chemical components that constituted the atmosphere of the early earth. Thereby in their experiment, Miller and Urey selected Water, Hydrogen, Ammonia and Methane, considering them to be the salient components constituting the atmosphere of the early earth, when the life was still not there (Willis, 2000).
These chemicals were made to circulate in an array of flasks and glass tubes which were completely sterilized. These glass tubes and flasks were connected together in a loop as is shown in the above figure. One of the flasks was half filled with water, while the other flask in this loop was fitted with electrodes. The water in the half filled flask was heated to create water vapors in the loop and the gases so created were circulated through the loop to simulate the atmosphere of early earth. The water vapor so produced represented the water in the lakes and rivers on the early earth which eventually evaporated and consequently precipitated down as rain. The electrodes in the other flask were intermittently fired to create lightening storm like effect, which was believed to be pervasive on early earth (Willis, 2000).
After carrying on the experiment for one full week, Miller and Urey found out that that almost 10 to 15 percent of the carbon existent in the system they contrived in their experiment had turned to organic compounds (Willis, 2000). They also discovered that nearly 2 percent of the carbon now constituted 13 of the 22 amino acids that went into the making of proteins in living cells (Willis, 2000). Glycine was found to be the most abundant amino acid in this protein soup (Willis, 2000). No doubt the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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