Cometary Molecules & Life’s Origin

  • Joan OrÓ
Conference paper


The present paper discusses the problem of the origin of life on Earth. It is based on previous experimental work concerning the prebiological synthesis of biochemical molecules, such as adenine from hydrogen cyanide (Oró, 1960) and the subsequent hypothesis developed by the author on the role that cometary matter may have had on the formation of biochemical molecules on the primitive Earth. It was suggested (Oró, 1961) that the capture of comets by the primitive Earth provided the molecular precursors necessary for the eventual appearance of life on our planet. A major paper by (2000) has been published recently that explains in detail the cometary origin of the biosphere, and provides support for our initial experimental and theoretical studies (Oró, 1960, 1961). The present paper is in agreement with (2000) major conclusions, and we believe that the work from both laboratories provides a reasonably complete physical and ch emical insight into the difficult problem of the origin of life on the primitive Earth.


Peptide Nucleic Acid Biogenic Element Purine Nucleoside Hydrogen Cyanide Pyrimidine Nucleoside 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan OrÓ
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology and BiochemistryUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA

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