Chemical Evolution and Origin of Life in Marine Hydrothermal Systems

Chair: N.G. Holm (Sweden)

Other Full Members: Y.A. Bogdanov (USSR), G. Cairns-Smith (UK), R.M. Daniel (New Zealand), J.P. Ferris (USA), R. Hennet (USA), E. Shock (USA), B. Simoneit (USA), and H. Yanagawa (Japan)

Terms of Reference

  • To determine likely constituents necessary for neoabiogenesis according to the state of art of the origin of life sciences and thermodynamic calculations.
  • To review available data concerning primordial monomers and polymers already observed in hydrothermal systems (for example, carboxylic acids, amino acids, cyano- and heterocyclic compounds); compile a list of potential substances that have to be searched for; and differentiate compounds formed abiogenically and biogenically.
  • To evaluate the role of different classes of possible inorganic catalysts which may be required for the synthesis of organic compounds in hydrothermal systems.
  • To sponsor a symposium and published set of papers in 1992 summarizing the state of knowledge and identifying research opportunities in this field.

Approved: 1988

Financial Sponsors: SCOR

Product: Marine Hydrothermal Systems and the Origin of Life