The first life on Earth depended on a deadly poisonous gas, study suggests

At one time, Earth had no life. Then, it did. Whether the process was gradual or rapid, the transformation of chemistry to biochemistry on our planet was one of the most amazing developments to happen in the universe. It’s so rare that to date, we have absolutely no evidence of any form of life anywhere else in the cosmos.

So what, exactly, happened? The answer to that question sits at the intersection of cutting-edge research in astronomy, biology, chemistry and geology. In a recent study, researchers propose that it may take the whole planet to raise a self-replicating molecule, involving a complex interaction of hydrogen-rich meteorites, volcanic activity, warm ponds and an unlikely precursor for life: hydrogen cyanide.