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University of Chicago
Research explores how building blocks of life move from deep within Earth
Research explores how building blocks of life move from deep within Earth

A common theory holds that the building blocks for life came to Earth from comets that landed here billions of years ago. But what if they also came from within the planet? A study published last month by Johns Hopkins University professor Dimitri Sverjensky suggests that organic compounds are pulled beneath Earth's crust when tectonic plates collide, dissolving in water that travels through the mantle hundreds of miles below the surface. The carbon-based material might provide food for subterranean microorganisms, cause diamonds to form and, sometimes, make its way back to the planet's surface blasted out of volcanoes. The findings could contribute to new understanding of...

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