Scientists may have just found the chemical "missing link" for the origins of life on Earth

November 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

In attempting to recreate the conditions of Earth circa billions of years ago, a research team may have uncovered a key “missing link” in our knowledge of the origin of life on Earth. The discovery of diamidophosphate (DAP), a compound that may have been present in early Earth, is an exciting step forward in understanding how early life emerged from various ingredients and conditions. “It reminds me of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, who waves a wand and ‘poof,’ ‘poof,’ ‘poof,’ everything simple is transformed into something more complex and interesting,” said Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy , senior author of the study published in  Nature Chemistry  and chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in California. The key to DAP’s “magic” is its ability to facilitate a process called phosphorylation, an essential process in the function of chemicals from neurotransmitters to proteins , and the linking of a particular compound with a phosphate. This process is very common in biochemistry and enables proteins, neurotransmitters and countless other chemicals to function within organic systems. To determine DAP’s fitness to facilitate the origins of life, the team checked DAP’s ability to phosphorylate with several crucial organic compounds. These included RNA, which is essential for the decoding and messaging of genetic information as well as protein synthesis, fatty acids, which make up cell membranes, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Related: Researchers shocked to discover protein that conducts electricity All of the tested organic chemicals, when mixed with water and an additional chemical thought to be found on early Earth, successfully reacted with the DAP. While scientists lack the ability to truly know what early Earth was like, or whether the origin of life involved DAP, these experiments show one feasible path through which life could have developed. Via Newsweek Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Scientists may have just found the chemical "missing link" for the origins of life on Earth

MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

November 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

The wait is over— MUJI’s microhomes are now officially on sale to the public. Ever since MUJI debuted their line of tiny prefabricated homes in 2015, fans of the minimalist design brand have eagerly awaited the chance to get their hands on one of their tiny prefabricated homes, called MUJI Huts , starting at a little over $26,000 USD. Per MUJI’s famous minimalist aesthetic, the MUJI Huts are elegant and understated. Timber surfaces and a light-tone color palette creates a cozy and welcoming character. The first MUJI Hut to hit the market is a compact 9-square-meter cabin clad in blackened timber and lined in domestic fir wood. Sliding glass doors let in ample natural light and open up to a small covered patio. The simplicity of the design makes it easy for the microhome to adapt to variety of environments and uses. Related: MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall Base pricing for the MUJI Hut starts at 3 million yen (approximately $26,340 USD), tax and construction costs included. Insulation and electrical outlets are optional add-ons. Unfortunately, MUJI Hut is presently only available for sale in Japan—lucky residents can order a microhome from MUJI’s global flagship store at Yurakucho —but fans of the microhome are always welcome to test drive a MUJI Hut at the MUJI Camp in Tsumagoi , about an hour out of Tokyo via bullet train. + MUJI Hut Via SoraNews24

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MUJIs $26k prefab huts are finally available for sale

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