Investigations on the "Living Fossil" Microorganism Kakabekia Grown Under an Ammonia-Air Atmosphere

Masuda, Maureen
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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Men have searched for the cradle of their birth for centuries. Their pursuits have unearthed remains of their primitive ancestors in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. But the secret is still kept within those aged rocks. Persevering, men continue, but their curiosity reaches beyond the quest for the origin of humanity to the beginnings of life itself. They follow many paths. Some choose to retrace the steps of creation by formulating primitive reducing atmospheres of methane, ammonia, neon, hydrogen, argon, and helium, believed to be prevailing during the Earth's infant days (?). From the concoction they recover amino acids, polysaccharides, nucleic acid bases, fatty acids, and even membrane envelopes; products which all life, as we know it, has in common. Still others dig back through time looking for ancient fossils in formations of rock and debris which trap the formerly living matter and preserve it for eons. From them men deter­ mine the age and composition of the long dead organisms, constantly looking for older.and more primitive forms. These searches have yielded some answers but still the secrets are many. And through searching even more questions arise for which answers need be found, if only to satisfy curiosity and fascination with life. For what more is life, than to satisfy its yearnings?
26 pages
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