Iron is essential for the evolution of complex life on Earth and for the possibility of survival in other worlds
Researchers have discovered the importance of iron in the development of complex life on Earth, which may also indicate the possibility of complex life on other planets.
Iron is an essential nutrient for the growth and prosperity of almost all living things.
The amount of iron in the Earth’s crust is controlled by the conditions under which the planet formed, and this has serious consequences for how life formed.
Now, researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a mechanism by which iron influences the evolution of complex life forms, which could be used to determine how likely (or not) life forms are on other planets.
This study was recently published in the journal PNAS.
The initial amount of iron in the Earth’s rocks is “adjusted by the accumulation conditions of the planets, in which the Earth’s mineral center is separated from the crust”, said John Wade, associate professor and professor of planetary materials at the University of Oxford.
“Life becomes unbearable because of the lack of iron in the rocky areas of the planet like Mercury.”
It is difficult to keep water on the surface for a period of time associated with the development of complex life, if there is a lot like this. “
Initially, conditions for iron on Earth were conducive to surface water retention.
Iron dissolves in seawater and is available to provide simple life forms that participate in competition.
However, about 2.4 billion years ago (known as the “Great Oxygen Event”), the level of oxygen on Earth began to rise.
Excess oxygen causes a reaction with iron, making it insoluble.
Gigaton iron is extracted from the sea, which is not easy to create life forms.
“We need to find new ways to get the iron we need for life,” said Hall Droxmith, a professor of iron biology at the MRC Weather Institute for Molecular Medicine at Oxford University.
“For example, infection, coexistence and multicellularity are behaviors that allow life to capture and use these rare but essential nutrients more efficiently.”
Adopting such traits will make the evolution of early life forms as we see them today.
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