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Primordial Soup Researchers Gather at Watering Hole

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Science  22 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5329, pp. 1034-1035
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5329.1034

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK-- In a symposium held here earlier this summer, researchers met to discuss the events that could have transformed a lifeless Earth into a rich biochemical broth, able to give rise to the first living organisms. They described experiments suggesting that daily moisture cycles and mineral surfaces could have helped create stable information-carrying polymers, such as RNA, and that sunlight might have driven initial steps in the metabolic cycles that provide energy for life. They also discussed a new technique that could pin down when the meteorite bombardment of early Earth abated, opening the way for life.