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Proceedings Paper

Biomineral homologies, organismobiosis, and the problem of biomarkers
Author(s): Nikolai P. Yushkin
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Paper Abstract

Comparative analysis of bio-organisms and mineral individuals provides a bulk of evidence for biomineral homologies at the morphological, functional, ontogenetic, phylogenetic, and paragenetic levels and mineral predetermination of many features and functions traditionally viewed as purely biological. Highly-structured solid hydrocarbons (bitumens) and highly carbonaceous substances provide best homologies with simplest biological organisms. The physico-chemical conditions of ordered hydrocarbon condensation are similar to the theoretical origin-of-life conditions. It has been shown that protein amino acids are produced during crystallization and thermal ordering of hydrocarbons as well as by means of radioactive synthesis, which suggests mineral-based genesis of primitive biofunctioning structures and hydrocarbon mineral individuals with structures and functions of proto-organisms. These experimental data underlie our concept of hydrocarbon crystallization of life and mineral organismo-biosis. Biomineral homologies and the associated convergence of properties of bio-organisms and hydrocarbon minerals constitute the greatest obstacle hindering identification of biomorphous problematica, because, on the one hand, their biochemical components are easily destroyed under conditions of even low-grade metamorphism and, on the other hand, almost all compounds referred to as biological ones are synthesizable in the abiogenic way under natural conditions. So one should look for biomarkers relying on their structural and morphological features rather than biochemical ones, because the major elements of the bio-organisms's form and structure can be inherited by the fossilized product.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 December 2000
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4137, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III, (29 December 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.411618
Show Author Affiliations
Nikolai P. Yushkin, Institute of Geology/Komi Science Ctr. (Russia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4137:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology III
Richard B. Hoover, Editor(s)

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