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Despite being plagued by heavily degraded DNA in palaeontological remains, most studies addressing the state of DNA degradation have been limited to types of damage which do not pose a hindrance to Taq polymerase during PCR. Application of serial qPCR to the two fractions obtained during extraction (demineralization and protein digest) from six permafrost(More)
Original extracts from an unpublished 1958 experiment conducted by the late Stanley L. Miller were recently found and analyzed using modern state-of-the-art analytical methods. The extracts were produced by the action of an electric discharge on a mixture of methane (CH(4)), hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), ammonia (NH(3)), and carbon dioxide (CO(2)). Racemic(More)
Miller's 1950s experiments used, besides the apparatus known in textbooks, one that generated a hot water mist in the spark flask, simulating a water vapor-rich volcanic eruption. We found the original extracts of this experiment in Miller's material and reanalyzed them. The volcanic apparatus produced a wider variety of amino acids than the classic one.(More)
Seawater samples from several depths in the Sargasso Sea and equatorial Pacific and from surface stations in Biscayne Bay were analyzed for dissolved free amino acids and dissolved combined amino acids by a ligand-exchange chromatography technique. Enan-tiomeric ratios of dissolved total amino acids from Atlantic and Pacific samples were also determined. On(More)
1953 was a banner year for biological chemistry: The double helix structure of DNA was published by Watson and Crick, Sanger's group announced the first amino acid sequence of a protein (insulin) and the synthesis of key biomolecules using simulated primordial Earth conditions has demonstrated by Miller. Miller's studies in particular transformed the study(More)
When Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species 150 years ago he consciously avoided discussing the origin of life. However, analysis of some other texts written by Darwin, and of the correspondence he exchanged with friends and colleagues demonstrates that he took for granted the possibility of a natural emergence of the first life forms. As shown by(More)
Large-scale patterns of isotope ratios are detectable in the tissues of organisms, but the variability in these patterns often obscures detection of environmental trends. We show that plants and animals at lower trophic levels are relatively poor indicators of the temporal trend in atmospheric carbon isotope ratios (delta13C) when compared with animals at(More)
Transcriptional regulation of the rhaT gene, one of the operons forming the rhamnose regulon in Escherichia coli, was studied by fusing its complete or deleted promoter to the reporter gene lacZ. Analysis of beta-galactosidase activities induced in these constructions grown under different conditions predicted the presence of two putative control elements:(More)
I sn't life wonderful? " sang Alma Cogan and Les Howard in their almost forgotten 1953 hit. That same year, Stanley L. Miller raised the hopes of understanding the origin of life when on 15 May, Science published his paper on the synthesis of amino acids under conditions that simulated primitive Earth's atmosphere (1). Miller had applied an electric(More)