Learn how amino acids, important building blocks of life, may have originated on Earth, in this video from NOVA: Life’s Rocky Start. In the early 1950s, scientists Miller and Urey set up lab equipment to simulate what they understood to be the environment of early Earth. A spark, simulating lightning, provided the energy to break down molecules in the simulated atmosphere. The molecules, which mixed with water vapor from a simulated ocean and underwent further chemical reactions, eventually formed amino acids, a key component of life.
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