Over the years, many people have speculated on the origins of life. From religious beliefs to outlandish claims, the truth of our origins is no clearer today than it were two thousand years ago. In 1952 at the University of Chicago, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey performed an experiment which would forever change the way we think of life. Miller and Urey attempted to recreate the conditions of early an Earth under laboratory conditions. In what seems like a remarkably simple set up, both men devised a self cycling system where gasses of water, methane, ammonia and hydrogen were passed through an electrical spark, condensed and boiled. This continuous cycle would self repeat for a week at a time at the end of which a portion of the carbon in solution was in the form of organic compounds i.e. amino acids.
This small experiment was the stepping stone for a greater understanding of life as one year later Watson and Crick would propose the double helix structure of DNA (the code of life) which would ultimately win them the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
The Miller-Urey today still continues to inspire both scientists and amateur science enthusiasts alike in the quest for the origin of life.