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How Did Earth Get Its Phosphorus?

The element phosphorus is hard to get to a planet’s surface where it is needed. Phosphorus, abbreviated P with atomic number 15, is an essential element in all living organisms....

Most Exoplanets Are Probably Not Habitable

...elements such as phosphorus and molybdenum could help judge a world’s potential for life. If you were to make a list of bioessential ingredients, you would probably add nitrogen and...

Beavers Clean the Soil

...single family of beavers had removed high levels of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus from the water that flowed through their 2.5 hectare enclosure. The family of beavers, which have lived...

Astrobiology Still Has No Biology

...the equation, and it would be just as valid as anyone else’s guess? See also the article on Evolution News by Cornelius Hunter, “Updating the Drake Equation.” Paucity of phosphorus...

Facing Reality About Life on Other Planets, 6: Chemistry and Probability

...important signaling molecule. Calcium is also important in eggshells and seashells. Nitrogen is another essential element. Nitrogen compounds are needed for plant growth, and are in proteins. Phosphorus plays an...

Why Astronomers Hammer Planets

...are generally unable to react with organic molecules. This appears at odds with phosphorus’ ubiquity in biochemistry, so how did phosphorus end up being critical to life? That’s why Keith...

Coral Islands Rise With Sea Level

...of the phosphorus cycle in more detail, noting that phosphonate, a reduced form of phosphorus, is energetically expensive. “Why organisms produce energetically expensive, reduced phosphorus compounds remains a mystery, particularly...

Evolutionary Tales Are Constructed Out of Imagination, Not Data

...Magazine even speculated that phosphorus in meteorites was responsible for kick-starting life on Earth. “Meteorite phosphorus may have been a fuel that provided the energy and phosphorus necessary for the...

Origin-of-Life Researchers Excited Over Nothing

...doesn’t provide life very much phosphorus to work with. Scientists are now studying how phosphorus biochemistry may have originated at the dawn of life.” Phosphorus ranks 17th in abundance on...

Invent Animals: Just Add Phosphorus

...of an eye.  Without blinking her eye, Mullen asked, “The rock record shows that phosphorus, once scarce, became abundant around the same time as the Cambrian explosion.  Could phosphorus be...
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