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Simple ingredients can approximate metabolic cycle sans metals, enzymes

Greg Springsteen and Trent Stubbs '20
Chemistry Professor Greg Springsteen and Trent Stubbs '20.

Celia Henry Arnaud, senior correspondent with Chemical & Engineering News, covers new research conducted by Furman Chemistry Professor Greg Springsteen, Trent Stubbs ’20 and scientists at The Scripps Research Institute. The study, which was published in Nature Chemistry, found that a simple pH-controlled phosphate slurry of pyruvate and glyoxylate could produce reactions analogous to those in the Krebs cycle.

“Because [the Krebs cycle is] so fundamental to life on Earth, scientists are interested in studying how it might have emerged from prebiotic chemistry on early Earth,” wrote Arnaud, who asked chemists at St. Louis University and Georgia Tech for their thoughts on the discovery.

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