Science

Robotic chemist may be able to recreate Earth’s primordial soup

How complex molecules first arose on Earth is still a mystery

ANIMATED HEALTHCARE LTD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Recreating the mix of compounds and experimental conditions that interacted over billions of years to create life on Earth is impossible in the lab. But an autonomous robot can shorten the time it takes to test each possible mixture, which could help reveal the precise combination that let proteins, DNA and enzymes emerge from the prebiotic soup on early Earth.

Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, UK, and his colleagues built a robotic chemist that can mix simple …

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