9Prebiotic Earth and Early Mars Credit: Minik RosingCredit: Daniel SmithHigher geothermal gradientsCO2-rich atmosphereNo atmospheric O2No landOceans contained dissolved metals (Fe, Ni)
10Emergence of life at alkaline hydrothermal vents Kelley, D. S. et al; Nature 412, (12 July 2001)Russell and Hall 2006; GSA Memoir 198, 1-32.
11Emergence of life at alkaline hydrothermal vents
12Emergence of life at alkaline hydrothermal vents
13Emergence of life at alkaline hydrothermal vents Hadean ocean:CO2, Fe+2, PO43-pH ~ 5Hydrothermal fluid:HS-, H2, pH ~ 11pH gradientPhoto credit: Kirt Robinson, Shawn McGlynn
14Hydrothermal vents offer natural energy sources for emerging life pH gradientIon gradientsThermal gradientsElectrical potentialCatalytic minerals to drive organic chemistryPotential of membrane formed with Fe(II) and sulfide
15Laboratory studies of emerging metabolism at hydrothermal vents Electrochemical measurements of iron sulfide membranes(Generation of membrane potential as the hydrothermal mound forms – an energy source for proto-metabolism)Credit: Ivria Doloboff
16forms in membrane experiments Laboratory studies of emerging metabolism at hydrothermal ventsSimulating formation of pyrophosphate (PPi), a necessary prebiotic energy storage molecule (similar to ATP)Milner-White and Russell 2010, J. Cosmol.,10,31P NMR spectroscopyIron sulfide stabilizes pyrophosphate in hydrothermal systemsPyrophosphateforms in membrane experiments
17International Summer School, Santander, Spain “Origins: From the Big Bang to Life”Astrobiology Graduate Conference, SeattleNASA AcademyWinter School, U of Arizona:“Habitable Planets: Common or Rare?”U of Hawaii Astrobiology Winter School:“Water on Earth and in Space”Petrophysics Internship, Marathon Oil CompanyAstrobiology Graduate Conference, Tällberg, SwedenNASA/Nordic Astrobiology Summer school, IcelandSão Paulo Advanced School of Astrobiology
18What does it mean to be an astrobiologist? Work between disciplines to answer fundamental questionsHow does life begin and evolve?Does life exist elsewhere?What is the future of life?
19What does it mean to be an astrobiologist? Work between disciplines to answer fundamental questionsHow does life begin and evolve?Does life exist elsewhere?What is the future of life?Collaboration - combine skills with other scientists to approach astrobiology questions in new waysCreativity – try new things, learn new skills and generate new research ideas
20Acknowledgements Isik Kanik Michael Russell Ivria Doloboff Laura ZwickerLauren WhiteRichard KiddDavid VanderVelde / Caltech Liquid NMR FacilityJPL Education Office (SIRI, JVSRP, USRP Intern programs)