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Trillions of lightning bolts may have jumpstarted life on Earth

Trillions of lightning bolts may have jumpstarted life on Earth

Science
March 16 (UPI) -- Trillions and trillions of lightning strikes may have unlocked the phosphorous needed to spark life on Earth, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. "This work helps us understand how life may have formed on Earth and how it could still be forming on other, Earth-like planets," lead author Benjamin Hess, a graduate student at Yale University, said in a news release. Advertisement The building blocks of life -- RNA, DNA and other biomolecules -- require a variety of elements, phosphorus being one of the most important. But billions of years ago, around the time scientists estimate life first emerged, phosphorous was limited and relatively inaccessible, bound up inside insoluble minerals within Earth's crust. Scientists previously...