January 25, 2022

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Iron is necessary for the development of life on Earth

Iron is necessary for the development of life on Earth

iron It is an essential element for all living things. Scientists from Oxford University have discovered possible mechanisms by which iron influences the evolution of complex life forms, which may be useful not only to biologists but also to experts searching for extraterrestrial microorganisms.

– The initial amount of iron in the rocks of the Earth was “determined” by the conditions of planetary accretion, during which the mineral core of the Earth was separated from the rocky mantle. If there is not enough iron in the rocky part of the planet – as in the case of Mercury – life will not develop. If there is a lot of it – as in the case of Mars – it may be difficult to stay afloat for the period necessary for the evolution of complex life, the professor said. John Wade of Oxford University, co-author of the study.

Initial iron levels on Earth were perfect, To ensure the appearance and survival of water. This element was also soluble in sea water, which made it readily available to simple life forms and their leaps. But about 2.4 billion years ago, the level of oxygen on Earth began to rise, triggering reactions with iron that made it insoluble and thus inaccessible to living organisms.

Life had to find new ways to get the iron you need. For example, infection, symbiosis, and multicellularity are behaviors that enable life to more efficiently capture and use these rare but essential nutrients. Adopting such characteristics would push early life forms to become more and more complex, on their way to evolving into what we see around us today. Hal Drexsmith of the University of Oxford, co-author of the study.

Iron as a driver of evolution can be a rare or random event. This may have implications for Possible evolution of life outside Earth.

It is not known how widespread intelligent life is in the universe. Our concepts suggest that the conditions that support the initiation of simple life forms are not sufficient to ensure the subsequent evolution of complex life forms. Further selection may be required by major environmental changes – for example, how life on Earth should find a new way to access iron. These time changes on the planetary scale may be rare or random, which means that the probability of intelligent life may also be low. Drexsmith.

Knowing the importance of iron in the development of life, It can help you find the ‘right’ planetsEnsure proper conditions. By assessing the amount of iron in the mantles of exoplanets, we will be able to narrow the search down to the appropriate systems.

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