Aleksandr Oparin, Russian biochemist

Aleksandr Oparin, Russian biochemist

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aleksandr Ivanovich Oparin (right, 1894-1980), Russian biochemist, working in a laboratory. Oparin is famous for his work on theories of the origin of life. In 1922 he presented his ideas to the Russian Botanical Society, and published them in a leaflet in 1924. It was not until the 1930s that his ideas became more widely known. Oparin suggested that the raw materials of life had been water, methane, ammonia and hydrogen. He said that in the conditions found on the early Earth, these chemicals could have combined to form increasingly complex biochemical systems that eventually led to the beginnings of life on Earth.

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