Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 16 Issue 03

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Volume 16, No. 3
Pages 98 - 104


Origins of Life

Jeffrey L. Bada
First Paragraph

May 15, 2003 marked the fiftieth anniversary of a paper published in the journal I that revolutionized our thinking about one of the fundamental scientific questions that confronts humanity-how did life began on Earth? The paper was authored by Stanley L. Miller (1953), at that time a graduate student of Nobel Laureate Harold Urey’s at the University of Chicago. The experiment described in his paper demonstrated how, by using a simple apparatus designed to mimic the ocean-atmosphere system of Earth, could be used to synthesize essential biological compounds such as amino acids. If a similar type of process had taken place on early Earth, this could have produced the raw materials needed for the origin of life.


Bada, J.L. 2003. Origins of life. Oceanography 16(3):98–104, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2003.38.

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