Proteins’ ancestors

In 1957 Sidney Walter Fox, an American biochemist, invented an experiment that proved how proteins could be formed outside of living beings starting from amino acids.
Fox simply warmed an amino acid mix on a metal plaque. Right after it cooled off it was possible to notice some complex molecules, very similar to proteins, which he called proteinoids so as not to get them mixed up. At that point it was believed that these new molecules had formed from the union of amino acids freed of the water through its evaporation. The same reaction could have happened on the burning hot rocks of the Earth’s crust as it had just solidified. The tides might have brought the primordial soup enriched with organic substances on land where water would have evaporated allowing the amino acid molecules to bind together. These protein precursors would then be carried once again to the sea by the rains and the tidal ebb and flow.

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From the Multimedia section

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