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New Findings in Miller's Primordial Soup

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Tagged As: Experiment and Science

Stanley Miller was a chemist renowned for his experiments in the origins of life. Using molecules believed to have existed in the Earth's early atmosphere, the Miller/Urey experiment shocked the system with electricity to simulate lightning. The result was that carbon converted into organic compounds and 2% of the mixture formed into amino acids, the building blocks of life. After Miller's death, his students continued in his experiments but made a startling non-experimental discovery. The original, published Miller/Urey results were but a small subset of the actual experiment's findings. Miller had kept many of the compounds he produced and using modern spectral analysis technologies, the students were able to identify there were more organic compounds present in the samples than Miller had ever reported.

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