Canada's last chance lake holds clues to life on Earth: study

A last resort is a shallow body of water, no more than a foot deep. (Representative image)

A lake in Canada holds clues to the origins of life on Earth, a new study says. Some scientists suggest that life arose in volcanic landscapes surrounded by a precise combination of chemicals and physical conditions. It may have been around four billion years ago, and a study by David Catling and his colleagues lends new support to this idea. They studied Lost Chance Lake – a shallow, saline body of water located on a volcanic plateau in British Columbia, Canada.

The researchers said the lake contains clues that carbonate-rich lakes on ancient Earth may have been the „cradle of life”. The thesis has been published magazine Nature On January 9.

„We were able to see the specific conditions that people use to assemble the building blocks of life in nature. We think we have a very promising place for the origin of life,” said Mr Catling, a University of Washington geosciences professor. .

They were drawn to the lake after reading an unpublished master's thesis in the 1990s that recorded unusually high levels of phosphate.

A last resort is a shallow body of water, no more than a foot deep. It is located on a volcanic plateau at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. The lake contains the highest concentration of phosphate ever recorded in any natural body of water on Earth. This is 1,000 times more than is typical for oceans or lakes. CNN Sebastian Haas, a postdoctoral researcher who studies the microbiology and chemistry of aquatic environments at the University of Washington, cited He is the lead author of the paper.

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Phosphate is an important component of biological molecules and contains the life-saving element phosphorus. It is found in molecules such as RNA and DNA.

Water samples were collected from the lake between 2021 and 2022. An analysis revealed that in addition to phosphate, the water contained the mineral dolomite.

The combination of chemical processes and the arid climate that the minerals from the volcanic rock hit effectively created unique concentrations of phosphate—a set of conditions that the researchers believe. Earth according to Mr Haas.

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