1932

Abstract

▪ Abstract 

The history of the theory and experimental evidence that the natural catalytic and reactive qualities of transition metal sulfides are linked to primitive metabolism is reviewed. In the late 1980s, a hypothesis arose that proposed that transition metal sulfides (in particular pyrrhotite and pyrite) might play a significant role promoting abiotic organic chemistry. As an outgrowth of this hypothesis, elaborate theories were presented, including proposals for earliest life being structurally distinct from extant prokaryotic life. During the 1990s and into the twenty-first century, experimental evidence has emerged that supports certain aspects of these theories; in other cases, the experiments reveal chemistry that diverges significantly from that which was proposed theoretically. In either case, however, there is clear evidence that transition metal sulfide minerals exhibit catalytic qualities for the promotion of reactions that have obvious metabolic utility and, therefore, could have provided the primitive Earth with valuable biochemical intermediates.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.32.101802.120225
2004-05-19
2024-06-14
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.32.101802.120225
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.earth.32.101802.120225
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error