2020

Carbonate-rich lakes as possible places where life on Earth originated

An article published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science” reports a study on carbonate-rich lakes as possible places where life on Earth originated. Jonathan Toner and David Catling of the University of Washington measured the concentration of phosphorus, an element crucial for various cellular processes, in carbonate-rich lakes, detecting phosphorus concentrations up to 50,000 times higher than those present in seawaters, in river waters and also in those of other lakes. The two researchers found a link between an abundance of carbonates and phosphorus, a discovery that offers a possible solution to the problem of the shortage of phosphorus in other possible places of origin of life.