Cosmic Dust Likely Delivered The Phosphorus Needed To Kickstart Life

Cosmic Dust Likely Delivered The Phosphorus Needed To Kickstart Life

Unless you’re a farmer or a pharmacist, phosphorus likely rarely enters your consciousness. Yet its compounds form the structural backbone of our genetic code and drives the energy behind nearly all of life’s metabolism. But phosphorus’ bioavailability for prebiotic chemistry was hardly a fait accompli; its presence here on Earth may be serendipitous at best. A recent paper appearing in The Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, only emphasizes this point by outlining a scheme that describes how Earth’s phosphorus was actually delivered to our planet some 4.5 billion years ago. The team led by researchers in the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds in the U.K., note that when Earth formed any phosphorus that was present likely sank into our planet’s molten core. But they note that …
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