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R.I.P. – Stanley Miller, Father of Origin of Life Chemistry Thursday, May 24, 2007

Posted by henry000 in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, exobiology, Harold Urey, Miller-Urey, origin of life, sarcasm, science, science experiment, Stanley Miller.

Stanley Miller, a leading pioneer in biochemistry, has sadly passed away due to heart failure at the age of 77.

Stanley Miller

He is known for his landmark and famous Miller-Urey experiment conducted as a graduate in 1953. This experiment shows that simple chemical elements can be catalysed into amino acids – the building blocks of protein – that is, simple inorganic chemical compounds can be made into organic elements.

The novel experiment was designed to show that the assumed primitive atmospheric condition of the early Earth could possibly produce life chemical compounds. With only water, hydrogen, methane and ammonia mixed in a flask, zapped with some serious sparks of electrical discharge, amino acids were formed in a “molecular soup” within a week.