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Joint AIRAPT-18 & HPCC-11 Beijing, China -- 23-27 July 2001 PowerPoint Presentation
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Joint AIRAPT-18 & HPCC-11 Beijing, China -- 23-27 July 2001

Joint AIRAPT-18 & HPCC-11 Beijing, China -- 23-27 July 2001

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Joint AIRAPT-18 & HPCC-11 Beijing, China -- 23-27 July 2001

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  1. High Pressure and the Origin of Life Joint AIRAPT-18 & HPCC-11 Beijing, China -- 23-27 July 2001 Robert Hazen, Nabil Boctor, Jay A. Brandes, George D. Cody, Russell J. Hemley, James Scott, Anurag Sharma, and Hatten S. Yoder, Jr. Carnegie Institution of Washington

  2. High-Pressure and the Origin of Life • What is the nature and distribution of life at high pressures? • What are the extreme pressure limits to cellular life? • How might biomolecules adapt to high pressure? • What roles might pressure have played in prebiotic organic synthesis?

  3. High-Pressure Life HMS Challenger – 1870s

  4. High-Pressure Life 1972

  5. High-Pressure Life Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents -- 1979

  6. High-Pressure Life Discoveries of Hydrothermal Vent Ecosystems

  7. High-Pressure Life • Discoveries of Life in Crustal Rocks – 1990s

  8. High-Pressure Life • Discoveries of life in extreme environments – 1990s

  9. High-Pressure Life Methane ice worms -- 1999

  10. Life at High Pressures on other Worlds? Deep, wet environments may exist on Mars, Europa, etc.

  11. Pressure Limits of Life Isolation and Culture of High-Pressure Microbes – 1980s

  12. Pressure Limits of Life Isolation and Culture of High-Pressure Microbes – 1990s

  13. Pressure Limits of Life Isolation and Culture of Microbes at 1 GPa – 2001

  14. Pressure Limits of Life Microbes continue to reduce formate at pressures above 10,000 atmospheres

  15. Effects of Pressure on Biomolecules Pressure induces phase transitions in membrane-forming lipid molecules.

  16. Effects of Pressure on Biomolecules High-pressure cell membranes employ Modified lipids with unsaturated bonds.

  17. Effects of Pressure on Water Pressure dramatically alters the thermal stability and physical properties of water.

  18. Hydrothermal Organic SynthesisThree techniques Gold tube reactors

  19. Hydrothermal Organic SynthesisThree techniques • Hydrothermal Diamond • Anvil Cell

  20. Hydrothermal Organic SynthesisThree techniques Flow-through Reactor

  21. Hydrothermal F-T Synthesis • Reactants: CO2 + H2 + H2O • Catalyst: Iron metal • Conditions: 300oC 500 atm 24 hours

  22. Pyruvic Acid • Reactants: Pyruvic acid + CO2 + H2O • Conditions: 200oC 2,000 atm 2 hours • Products: A diverse suite of organic molecules

  23. Hydrothermal Organic SynthesisResearch Strategy

  24. The Formation of C-C Bonds Under High-P Hydrothermal Conditions

  25. The Formation of C-C Bonds Under High-P Hydrothermal Conditions

  26. The Formation of C-C Bonds Under High-P Hydrothermal Conditions

  27. Thomas Gold’s Hypothesis:Organic Synthesis in the Mantle Thomas Gold (1999) NY:Springer-Verlag.

  28. Conclusions • Deep life is abundant and richly varied. • Cellular life can exist at pressures exceeding 1 GPa. • We have much to learn about the pressure adaptations of biomolecules. • High pressure facilitates and enhances many hydrothermal organic reactions, because pressure increases the temperature stability of the aqueous phase.