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Earth Science Current Events

Organic Molecules from Hydrothermal Vents?
January 23, 2013 | NASA

NASA is running laboratory experiments designed to mimic the conditions at hydrothermal vents on the seafloor of ancient oceans. They are trying to determine if the vents might have been the source of simple organic molecules such as ethane, methane and amino acids.

  Related Stories

A Scientist’s Life
April 13, 2014 | Scripps
Scripps Institution of Oceanography features Lihini Aluwihare: "In my field I’m called an organic geochemist. In a very basic sense, I’m using molecules to tell a story about the processes on Earth that involve organisms. If you think about the number of different molecules that are on Earth most of them are organic, meaning they were made by organisms. My interest lies in trying to understand those molecules and what their structure tells us about the processes that have acted on them."

Micronutrient Plumes from Hydrothermal Vents
September 16, 2013 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
"Scientists have discovered a vast plume of iron and other micronutrients more than 1,000 km long billowing from hydrothermal vents in the South Atlantic Ocean. The finding [...] calls past estimates of iron abundances into question, and may challenge researchers' assumptions about iron sources in the world's seas." Quoted from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution press release.

Did Life Arise from Hydrothermal Vents?
April 17, 2014 | NASA
"Did life first arise on Earth in warm, gentle springs on the sea floor? Researchers are putting together the chemical pieces of how this process might have occurred." Quoted from the NASA press release.

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