AP Bio Origins of Life

AP Bio Origins of Life

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  • The Origins of Life
  • No one knows exactly what happened 4.6 billion years ago as Earth had finally formed, but by the Earth's 1 billionth birthday the first signs of life had appeared.
  • During early times, Earth had a primitive atmosphere and reducing environment, meaning that there was not enough oxygen required to sustain life. Additionally the oxygen deprived atmosphere caused the sky to appear orange.
  • The atmosphere's conditions enabled monomers to begin forming from inorganic compounds in the air. These monomers then formed more complex polymers.
  • Evidence found over the years, support the idea that the early conditions on Earth allowed for creation of polymers from monomers. 
  • Scientists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey designed and performed an experiment that mimicked the early conditions of Earth, supporting the idea that inorganic materials turn into monomer, which them turned into polymers.
  • Miller-Urey Experiment
  • Fossil records show that Earth is very old, helping scientists to determine that the first forms of life, prokaryotes,  did not appear until 3.9 bya. Additionally, fossils help to show that eukaryotes appeared 2 bya.
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