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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 46 through 60 of 115 found.


Ecosmos: A Revolutionary Fertile, Habitable, Solar-Bioplanet, Incubator Lifescape

Animate Cosmos > Fractal > autocat

Hisata, Uusei, et al. In-silico-assisted derivatization of triarylboranes for the catalytic reductive functionalization of aniline-derived amino acids and peptides.. Nature Communications.. 15/3708, 2024. Osaka University computational chemists employ novel AI methods as a way to further discern and prove nature’s biochemical self-making origins and proactive propensity.

Cheminformatics-based machine learning (ML) has been employed to determine optimal reaction conditions, including catalyst structures, in the field of synthetic chemistry. However, such ML-focused strategies have remained largely unexplored in the context of catalytic molecular transformations using Lewis-acidic main-group elements. Here, the construction of a triarylborane library and its application to the catalytic reductive alkylation of aniline-derived amino acids and C-terminal-protected peptides with aldehydes and H2 is reported. A theoretical and experimental approach identified the optimal borane which exhibits compatibility toward aniline derivatives in the presence of 4-methyltetrahydropyran.

Animate Cosmos > Fractal > autocat

Sakref, Yann and Olivier Rivoire.. Design principles, growth laws, and competition of minimal autocatalysts. arXiv:2403.19047. This 2024 entry by a CNRS, ESPCI, and University of Paris research team (visit OR website for more papers) continues to advance and certify understandings of nature’s pervasive biochemical reactions engage in self-making processes. See also Design of a minimal catalyst using colloidal particles with programmable interactions by Maitane Munoz-Basagoiti, O. Rivoire, et al in Soft Matter (May 2023) for companion work. By these many current entries here and in Origin of Life an autocatalytic cosmopoietic milieu that makes itself is being found and verified.

The difficulty of designing autocatalysts that grow exponentially in the absence of enzymes, external drives or internal mechanisms constrains scenarios for the emergence of evolution in chemical and physical systems. Here, we analyze these difficulties by way of a simple, dimeric molecule that duplicates by templated ligation such that an autocatalyst can achieve exponential growth autonomously. We thus are able to develop a theoretical framework based on kinetic barrier diagrams. Our results provide a blueprint for elementary autocatalysts exhibiting a form of natural selection, whether on a molecular or colloidal scale. (Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Astrobiology

Krasnokutski, Serge, et al. Formation of extraterrestrial peptides and their derivatives. Science Advances. April 17, 2024. MPI Astronomy and University of Poitier, France astrophysicists achieve a strongest verification to date of the ISM occurrence, real protochemistry and precursor occasion for this vital component.

The formation of protein precursors, due to the condensation of atomic carbon under the low-temperature conditions of the molecular phases of the interstellar medium, opens alternative pathways for the origin of life. We perform peptide synthesis under conditions prevailing in space and provide a comprehensive characterization of its products. The application of 13C allowed us to confirm the pathway of peptide formation due to the polymerization of aminoketene molecules formed in the C + CO + NH3 reaction. (Excerpt)

Our studies have detected the formation of Gly-Gly and Gly-Gly-Gly peptides, which aid in the condensation of amino acid derivatives in aqueous solution. In this sense, the found pathway for the peptide formation is autocatalytic, which could potentially initiate natural selection in early Earth or even in the liquid phase of asteroids and comets. The peptides are also considered promising candidates for the formation of protomembranes. (5)

A peptide is a short string of 2 to 50 amino acids, formed by a condensation reaction, joining together through a covalent bond. Sequential covalent bonds with additional amino acids yield a peptide chain and the building block of proteins.

Animate Cosmos > Astrobiology

Pentsak, Evgeniy, et al. The Role of Acetylene in the Chemical Evolution of Carbon Complexity. arXiv:2405.01866. EP, Maria Murga and Valentine Ananikov, Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow astrochemists post a 118 page, 550 reference contribution which extensively quantifies the presence of C2H2 as a interstellar biomolecular precursor on a course toward life and evolution. In this instance also, catalytic agencies are seen as a prime driver. (I was once a combustion consultant with acetylene known as a highly reactive fuel gas, fire on earth and in the sky.) See also Torsion-rotational transitions in methanol as a probe of fundamental physical constants by J. S. Vorotyntseva and S. A. Levshakov at 2405.04542.

Acetylene, among the multitude of organic molecules discovered in space, plays a distinct role in the genesis of organic matter. Characterized by its unique balance of stability and reactivity, acetylene is the simplest unsaturated organic molecule known to have a triple bond and is one of the most prevalent organic molecules found across the Universe. This review discusses the formation and expansion of carbon skeletons involving acetylene from the origination of the first aromatic ring and nanosized carbon particles. A distinct focus is accorded to the recent research into catalytic processes involving acetylene molecules, which is a significant instrument in driving the evolution of cosmic carbon complexity. The insights garnered from this review underline the significance of acetylene in astrochemistry and potentially contribute to our understanding of the chemical evolution of the Universe. (Excerpt)

For instance, catalytic pathways for the formation of aromatic compounds in space environments are likely underexplored. Catalytic processes, encompassing crucial events such as the formation of aromatic compounds, could occur on the surfaces of comets, asteroids, planets, and interstellar dust grains, as corroborated by recent findings. We can anticipate more exciting discoveries in this area in the coming years. Our understanding of cosmic chemical processes will continue to broaden in the future. There is no doubt that missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope, the forthcoming Dragonfly spacecraft and the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer will revolutionize our comprehension of the evolution of organic compounds in space. This approach will facilitate the precise quantification of how physical conditions influence organic transformations, thereby allowing us to track the evolution of acetylene and other organic molecules across various space environments. (78)

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

KAVLI-IAU SYMPOSIUM (IAUS 387): (Toward) Discovery of Life Beyond Earth and its Impact. kavli-iau-2024.durham.ac.uk/wordpress. A home page for this international conference held in Durham, UK, on April 15 – 19, 2024, A full array of Abstracts can be found such as Jacob Haqq Misra, Blue Marble Space Institute, Escaping the Great Filter: The future of civilization, Arwen Nicholson, University of Exeter, How probable is Gaia?, Giovanna Tinetti, University College London, Exoplanet atmospheres in the era of JWST and ARIEL, Stephen Webb, Science Writer, UK Reexamining the Fermi Paradox in the age of discovery and Frances Westall, CNRS, France, Life out there, expectations and reality.

Until 1995, the only known planets orbited our Sun. Now we have evidence for over 5,000 exoplanets orbiting other stars, and expect to find billions more. In the 1960s, Frank Drake began a search for radio signals. The space age brought opportunities to explore our Solar System with telescopes and probes. Planetary atmospheres can now be analyzed for the signs of life. This present decade sees a once-in-a-lifetime investment into the ‘Search for Life Beyond Earth.’ Both NASA and ESA have active and planned missions focused on exoplanets. Meanwhile, new Machine Learning (ML) algorithms will serve the search for technosignatures at scale. Beyond science, the worldwide quest raises questions of policy, law, philosophy, and theology. (Intro Excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

burnRemo, et al, . A radius valley between migrated steam worlds and evaporated rocky cores. Nature Astronomy. 8/4, 2024. MPI Astronomy, University of Bern, IBM Research, and Geneva Observatory and Ludwig-Maximilians-University astrophysicists including Julia Venturini are able to detect the presence of an integral solar system topology which serves to array and constrain planetary movements. See also Peas-in-a-Pod Across the Radius Valley: Rocky Systems are Less Uniform in Mass but More Uniform in Size and Spacing by Armaan Goyal and Songhu Wang at arXiv:2405.14091 and Wide Binary Orbits are Preferentially Aligned with the Orbits of Small Planets, but Probably Not Hot Jupiters by Sam Christian, et al at 2405.10379.

The radius valley (or gap) which separates smaller super-Earths from larger sub-Neptunes, is a key feature that theoretical models must explain. Here we use an advanced coupled formation and evolution model that describes the planets’ growth and evolution starting from solid, moon-sized bodies in the protoplanetary disk to mature Gyr-old planetary systems. The model results demonstrate that the observed radius valley can be interpreted as the separation of less massive, rocky super-Earths formed in situ from more massive, ex situ, water-rich sub-Neptunes. Therefore, we provide a hybrid theoretical explanation of the radius gap and cliff caused by both planet formation (orbital migration) as well as evolution (atmospheric escape). (Excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

Faridani, Thea, et al. More Likely Than You Think: Inclination-Driving Secular Resonances are Common in Known Exoplanet Systems.. arXiv:2406.09359.. We cite this work by UCLA, Georgia Tech and Yale University astroscientists as another current perception of solar systems as a whole interactive entity wherein planetary locations and transits influence each other. See also The PLATO Mission at arXiv:2406.05447 for another version.

Multi-planet systems face significant challenges to detection. One mechanism to excite mutual inclination between planets is secular resonance, where the nodal precession frequencies align such as to increase the efficiency of angular momentum transport between them. In this work, we explore known three-planet systems, determine whether they are in (or were in) secular resonance due to evolving stellar oblateness, and demonstrate the implications of resonance on their detectability and stability. We show that about 20% of three planet transiting systems seem to undergo these resonances early in their lives. (Excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

Gillmann, Cedric, et al. Gillmann, Cedric, et al. Venus. arXiv:2404.07669.. arXiv:2404.07669.. After many years of relative neglect for lack of insufficient evidence, ten astroscientists based in the USA, France and Switzerland (NASA, CalTech, Sorbonne) including Giada Arney now scope out a major endeavor to learn all about and understand this close by but radically different neighbor. See also, for example, Necessary Conditions for Earthly Life Floating in the Venusian Atmosphere at 2404.05356 about chemical comparisons and microbial life.

After decades of absence, interest in Venus surges anew in planetary science. Future missions are planned which will pave the way to encounter many mysteries our closest Solar System neighbor. Building on the legacy of past works, we discuss the state of our understanding of Venus from both observation and modeling. We describe each envelope of the planet from its atmosphere to interior with an eye for the most recent advances. We then briefly discuss coupled modelling efforts to better constrain the evolution of the planet.

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

Kaltenegger, Lisa. Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2024. The Carl Sagan Institute to Search for Life in the Cosmos director and astronomy professor at Cornell University provides a best current guide to the celestial planetarium show of a galactic, star-studded, profligate world spacescape. As a frequent traveler to and speaker at scientific conferences, readers are advised of major search projects such as the Webb telescope, along with frontier findings. If one might note a theme, it is the wide variety of planets covered with lava, oceans, toxic gases and host stars of red dwarfs, clusters, and all else. As the display goes on we learn about global wanderers not in orrerys. But a late chapter is No Place Like Home, since a valid analog has not yet been found.

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

Rauer, Heike, et al. The PLATO Mission. arXiv:2406.05447.. The main public posting all about the epic ESA planet hunter observance, as the quotes say. Some 200 coauthors such as Conny Aerts, Alessandro Morbidelli and Hans Deeg sight ahead into the 2030s as empowered and informed by a new phase of astronomic search and discover. Our own take would be to attribute the mega project to an Earthropo to Ecosmo sapiensphere on her/his twinity own. Another aspect is a view of candidate worlds and their host star as a whole integrated unit. Altogether the endeavor could imply an intended participatory purpose to achieve a vital description and recognition of a genesis universe.

PLATO (PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) is ESA's M3 mission designed to detect and characterise extrasolar planets, along with asteroseismic monitoring select stars. With the complement of radial velocity observations from the ground, planets will be viewed for their radius, mass, and age with high accuracy. These features will introduce a comparative exoplanetology which can place our Solar System planets in a broader context. Here we review the science objectives, target samples and fields, and describe the instrument and the mission profile. PLATO is scheduled for a launch date in later 2026. (Excerpt)

PLATO is the M3 mission in the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Program of the European Space Agency. With 26 telescopes of 20 cm class, that all together collect photons like a telescope of 1 m class covering a field of view 10,000 times the area of the full Moon, it will survey the brightest stars in the sky for transiting planets. PLATO sensitivity and operation mode will allow the detection of earth analogues - for mass and orbit - orbiting solar-like stars, a task that will not be covered by any other project in this decade. (platomission.com)

Animate Cosmos > exoearths

wood, J. M., et al. Terrestrial planet formation from a ring: long-term simulations accounting for the giant planet instability. arXiv:2404.17259. Université Cote d’Azur, CNRS, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO and University of Toronto astronomers including Alessandro Morbidelli discuss the latest Earthuman studies about how global worlds of all great and small kinds come to form and reside in vicarious solar systems. These origins are not readily revealing themselves so more finesse is required. But one wonders over the whole scenario whence. a collaborative sapiensphere carries out a retrospective task of scientific self-representation. Whom are we all to do this and for what reason?

The process leading to the formation of the terrestrial planet remains elusive. In a previous publication, we have shown that, if the first generation of planetesimals forms in a ring at about 1 AU and the gas disk's density peaks at the ring location, planetary embryos of a few Martian masses can grow. In this work, we extend our simulations beyond the gas-disk stage to account for the phase of giant planet instability. About half of the model forms a pair of Venus and Earth analogues and about 10% form a Mars analogue. The timing of the giant planet instability affects the terrestrial system's excitation state and the last giant impacts. The best-case scenario is that the Moon-forming event occurred between 50 and 80 My. (Excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Self-Selection

Gillmann, Cedric, et al. Interior Controls on the Habitability of Rocky Planets. Space Science Technology. 4/0075, 2024. ETH Zurich geophysicists now proceed to add another influential factor for life’s evolutionary presence as the interior geochemical make-up and its temporal course which may then affect surface environments.

No matter how exotic other terrestrial planets are revealed to be, the most interest regards their habitability. The characterization of exoplanets for life has been a major driver for space exploration. Conducive environs for terrestrial planets have proved elusive, as surface conditions depend on the complex interplay of many processes throughout its evolution. Here we review how the interior of a rocky planet can affect geological and atmospheric features over time. Instead of listing criteria assumed to be critical for life, we discuss how the bulk-silicate planet can influence the onset, continuation and cessation of habitability. (Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Self-Selection

Ostrander, Chadlin, et al. Onset of coupled atmosphere–ocean oxygenation 2.3 billion years ago.. Nature. June 1, 2024. Seven geophysicists at the University of Utah and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution can now achieve a more detailed quantification of this crucial passage to a stable atmosphere with a vital 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen composition. As a result, we gain more prior evidence of how chancy the occasion of Earth life’s evolutionary emergence to a worldwide intelligence has actually been. And just now a natural genesis by virtue of all this knowledge we peoples must to unite and select our own fittest success. See also Life on the Edge: The Cambrian Marine Realm and Oxygenation by Sara Pruss1, and Benjamin Gill in Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences (Vol. 52, 2024).

The initial rise of molecular oxygen after the Archaean–Proterozoic transition 2.5 bya was more complex than the single step-change once envisioned. Sulfur mass-independent fractionation records suggest that the rise of atmospheric O2 was oscillatory, with multiple returns to an anoxic state until perhaps 2.2 bya. Yet few constraints exist for contemporaneous marine dynamics, precluding a holistic understanding of planetary oxygenation. Here we report thallium (Tl) isotope ratio and redox-sensitive element data for marine shales from the Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa. Our data connect atmospheric O2 dynamics on early Earth with the marine realm, marking an important turning point in Earth’s redox history away from heterogeneous and highly localized ‘oasis’-style oxygenation. (Excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Self-Selection

Stern, Robert and Taras Gerya. The importance of continents, oceans and plate tectonics for the evolution of complex life: implications for finding e. Nature Scientific Reports. 14/8552, 2024. A UT Dallas Earth system scientist and an ETU Zurich geochemist make a latest strong case that our past billion years of drifting surface forms with a general land/sea ratio of 30/70 ratio is especially conducive for a life’s developmental emergence and also seems to be a rarest habitable planet occasion.

Within astronomical and biological parameters, the Drake Equation predicts that there should be many exoplanets in our galaxy with active communicative civilizations (ACCs). This optimism, however, is not supported by evidence, often referred to as the Fermi Paradox. Here, we elaborate on the importance of planetary tectonics for biological evolution by adding two additional terms to the Drake Equation: foc (the fraction of habitable exoplanets with continents and oceans) and fpt (the fraction of habitable exoplanets with continents and oceans that have had plate tectonics operating for at least 0.5 Ga). We propose that an absence of ACCs reflects the scarcity of continents and oceans on exoplanets with primitive life. (Excerpt)

Ecosmomics: Independent, UniVersal, Complex Network Systems and a Genetic Code-Script Source

Cosmic Code

Ball, Philip. The New Math of How Large-Scale Order Emerges. Quanta. June 10, 2024. The polymath British science writer provides an update survey as complexity theorists get closer to explaining how many local interactive entities (neurons, birds, people) can give rise to predictable global formations. The current work of Jim Critchfield, Fernando Rosas, Anil Seth (search each) and others is profiled with an especial notice of Software in the natural world by F. Rosas, et al (arXiv:2402.09090). See also Dynamical independence: Discovering emergent macroscopic processes in complex dynamical systems by L Barnett and A. Seth in Phys. Rev. E (108/014304, 2023).

Rosas’ framework could help complex systems researchers see when they can and can’t hope to develop predictive coarse-grained models. When a system meets the key requirement of being computationally closed, “you don’t lose any faithfulness by simulating the upper levels and neglecting the lower levels,” he said. But ultimately Rosas hopes an approach like his might answer some deep questions about the structure of the universe — why, for example, life seems to exist only at scales intermediate between the atomic and the galactic. (PB)

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