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By simulating one version of the proverbial 'primeval soup' on Earth, researchers from the University of Cambridge have shown how the first organisms on Earth could have become metabolically active. Based on these findings, they now ask: What came first - metabolism or RNA?
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz (MPIC) found that bacteria in the upper soil layer release hydrogen nitrite, better known as nitrous acid or HONO. Under sunlight, the gas disintegrates into nitrogen monoxide and hydroxyl radicals.