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Earth’s first life may have fuelled itself with a metal metabolism


Scientist

Earth’s first life may have fuelled itself with a metal metabolism

By Michael Marshall Nickel sulphide – critical for the first life forms?Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe first living organisms may have relied on nickel and sulphur to obtain energy and sustain themselves. That is the conclusion of a study that shows how nickel sulphide can transform simple chemicals into many of the substances that underpin…

Earth’s first life may have fuelled itself with a metal metabolism

By Michael Marshall

nickel sulphide

Nickel sulphide – critical for the first life forms?

Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The first living organisms may have relied on nickel and sulphur to obtain energy and sustain themselves. That is the conclusion of a study that shows how nickel sulphide can transform simple chemicals into many of the substances that underpin life. It is one of several recent studies indicating that life-like processes can be kick-started by metals.

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“We are able to build up important biomolecules from simple precursors,” says Claudia Huber at the Technical University of Munich in Germany.

Huber and her colleagues have spent over 20 …

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