Iron is an essential component of complex life. It is a necessary element to keep both proteins and enzyme systems alive. Iron is also of great importance in evolutionary processes because it plays a role in genetic selection. In short, iron is one of the essential elements for complex life forms as expected by us.

We knew this before. So what did the scientists find? They explored the possible mechanisms of iron’s influence during the development of complex life forms. This means the ability to understand the processes of life formation on alien planets and to estimate the possibility of the formation of living things depending on the amount of this element in the mantles of other celestial bodies.

a. John Wade of Oxford University, co-author Research, comments:

Therefore, the amount of iron in the rocks of a particular planet must be optimal to support the evolution of living organisms on the one hand, and to prevent the drying out of the entire planet on the other.

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There were favorable conditions on Earth that changed about 2.4 billion years ago. At that time, our planet experienced an “oxygen catastrophe”. Oxygen-depleting microorganisms in seawater caused their reaction with available iron. As a result, the element ceased to melt. Gt iron, so far easily soluble in water, is no longer available to living organisms growing in the oceans.

These organisms had to find a way to extract iron from the environment. So the processes of adaptation, including symbiosis and multicellular evolution, began. This allowed this rare and important nutrient to be captured and used more efficiently. This made early life forms increasingly complex.

This knowledge can be used to estimate the chances of life on other planets based on the percentage of iron in their mantle.

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