ASTRONOMICAL BODIES, 2010

in collaboration with Dr Terence Kee and team at the University of Leeds.
with special thanks to Katie Marriott, EPSRC, NESTA and the Royal College of Art.

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ASTRONOMICAL BODIES

The universe began with a Big Bang, or so it is thought. In these early beginnings, molecules gathered into ever greater complexity and dust condensed into matter to form glaxaies, stars and planets amongst other astronomical bodies. Earth is a speck in a vast ocean of astrological features.

In its infancy, Earth was a very different place. With very little atmosphere, its surface was bathed in UV rays from our young sun. It's surface was largely covered by vast oceans. Volcanos spewed toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Electric storms and daily bombardment from meteorites and comets made the conditions even more turbulent.

So how did life emerge in these conditions to shape Earth into the place we call home?

On this early Earth all molecules required to create life were present, all except one. There wasn't a suitable form of phosphorus reactive enough to interact with other molecules to build life. Especially as phosphates can be found everywhere in biology. However, here on early Earth phosphorus was believed to be locked-up in minerials and rock - not reactive enough to help kick-start life.

I teamed up with Dr Terence Kee and his team based at the University of Leeds, on their research for the origins of life on Earth and search for a suitable form of phosphate.

 

 

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