Table of Contents
Life, Volume 9, Issue 1 (March 2019) – 30 articles
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Cover Story (view full-size image) There is an apparent exclusivity between the two leading origin-of-life scenarios: one emphasizes [...] Read more. There is an apparent exclusivity between the two leading origin-of-life scenarios: one emphasizes the abundant energy sources for life at deep sea hydrothermal vents and the genetic evidence for ancient life having resided in such settings; another focuses on the ability to drive prebiotic chemistry, which requires shallow water exposed to stellar light. We propose that the environment of surface hydrothermal vents represents a bridge between these two scenarios. If such vents on the early Earth were fed by gases released from oxygen-poor but carbon- and nitrogen-rich magmas, then key feedstock molecules for prebiotic chemistry may be produced, additionally, in a setting in which life could then thrive. This scenario provides new insights into the planetary environments in which life could have originated. View this paper.