In the 1950’s, Dr. Stanley L. Miller did an experiment in which he boiled water to produce a hot water mist in a closed flask and to administer an electric shock to it. The conditions produced in this experiment may duplicate conditions on the early Earth with spark discharges as sometimes seen in active volcanoes.
Dr. Miller died in 2007. The authors of this article found the original dry residue of the liquid formed by Dr. Miller‘s experiment and reanalyzed it for amino acids. More amino acids were found than had been found, originally. Dr. Miller had found 5 amino acids and several unknowns with the technology he had available at that time.
Liquid chromatography was performed on the residue from 1953. Johnson, et al, were able to identify 22 amino acids and five amines. The authors theorized that amino acids could accumulate in water around volcanoes and be converted to peptides (proteins) in the presence of carbonyl sulfide. Carbonyl sulfide is a common gas found around volcanoes.
CONCLUSION: Reanalysis of the results of a 1953 study of amino acid production potential under conditions around a volcano showed that more amino acids were found than had been previously found, probably because of improved technology. This study supports the theory that life could have started in conditions of gases, water and electricity under primitive Earth conditions.
The authors suggest that, perhaps, we did start out in Darwin’s “warm little pond”
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.