A química prebiótica e a intervenção humana: Maradona que o diga!

quarta-feira, dezembro 12, 2018

Prebiotic chemistry and human intervention

Clemens Richert 

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 5177 (2018) | Download Citation


Experimentalists in the field of prebiotic chemistry strive to re-enact what may have happened when life arose from inanimate material. How often human intervention was needed to obtain a specific result in their studies is worth reporting.


When Diego Maradona was asked about having used his hand to score a goal in the quarter-finals of the 1986 soccer World Cup, he initially claimed that there had been divine intervention, and the term “Hand of God Goal” was coined.—There had been manual intervention, and there had been an understandable interest of the player not to admit it.—Organic chemists, if not all experimentalists in the field of prebiotic chemistry, are faced with a similar dilemma. We do our best to perform experiments that we believe re-enact possible steps of prebiotic evolution, but we know that we need to intervene manually to obtain meaningful results. Simply mixing chemicals and watching for a living system to appear from the broth seems unreasonable to me. This approach has never worked, and it is not expected to work, at least not if one is limited to the lifetime of a human, let alone the duration of a funding period or a Ph.D. thesis. So, what is a reasonable level of intervention by the experimentalist in prebiotic chemistry, and what are “plausible prebiotic conditions” in this context?

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