Did Life Form in Clay?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,209
    New research from Cornell University suggests that clay could have supported the formation of essential components of living cells thanks to hydrogel.

     A new study from biological engineers at Cornell University suggests that life on Earth may have originated in clay.  They simulated ancient seawater to see how it affected clay under those conditions.  They found clay can form a substance known as hydrogel—a mass of microscopic pores capable of absorbing liquids like a sponge.  They said over several billion years, chemicals confined in those spaces could have undergone complex reactions that led to the formation of protein, DNA, and other essential components of living cells.