Saturday, August 7, 2010

Life between the mica sheets

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Mica sheets

rock with mica

"Where did the life on Earth start?" a question which is still playing with minds of scientists. There are countless theories and hypotheses to answer this question.But every theory has its own plus points and at the same time, drawbacks.

Now there is a new answer to the above puzzle..!!! The answer is, "Life between the sheets" mica hypothesis proposed by Helen Hansma of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Let me tell you briefly what this theory is all about.According the "Life between the sheets"mica hypothesis, structured compartments that commonly form between layers of mica ( its a group of sheet silicate minerals) may have sheltered molecules that were the progenitors to cells. Provided with the right physical and chemical environment in the structured compartments to survive and evolve, the molecules eventually transformed into cells, while still sheltered between mica sheets.
These small chunks of mica embedded in the rock may have provided the molecules with the right physical and chemical environment to evolve and survive, due to the following unique features of mica....
  • there is a compartmental structure between the layers of mica, which could have protected the molecules.
  • The mica sheets are held together by potassium.So the theory can successfully account for the high potassium level currently found in the human cells.
  • Mica sheets embedded in the rocks could have got the endless supply of energy from waves,sun and the occasional sloshing of water into the space between the mica sheets.This energy may have helped the molecules to bond together.
  • Mica is too old.Micas have been found in the regions where the Earth's earliest life forms have been found. Some of them even date back to 3.8 million years.
Would this hypothesis be the actual answer which answers many unanswered questions about how the life started on earth......??!!?? Who knows......!!!!!

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