Role of Water in the Origin of Life

Role of Water in the Origin of Life:

Following unique features of water make it the most suitable medium for the origin of life-

  • Water remains in liquid form between 4°C-90°C and life also sustains this range of temperature.
  • Water is a stable compound and does not decompose easily. Hence it forms a suitable medium for chemical reactions.
  • Water is a good solvent for most of the substances that occur in living organisms.
  • Several chemicals become reactive only when dissolved in water.
  • Water is the source of molecular oxygen and hydrogen ions in living cells.
  • Because of its high latent heat, water does not allow quick changes in the body temperature of organisms. It, thus, protects organisms from thermal shocks.
  • Lipids form bilayers in contact with water. It is basic to production of cell membranes.
  • It helps in breaking complex substances through hydrolytic splitting. The phenomenon is called dehydration synthesis.

Water expands on freezing and becomes lighter, floating as a sheet of ice on water.

Floating ice does not allow the underneath water to get frozen. In this way it protects the deep lying plants and animals from low temperature.

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