Microbiological Drinking Water Parameters

Authored by: Frank R. Spellman , Joanne E. Drinan

The Drinking Water Handbook

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439866900
eBook ISBN: 9781439866924
Adobe ISBN:


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Scientists picture the primordial Earth as a planet washed by a hot sea and bathed in an atmosphere containing water vapor, ammonia, methane and hydrogen. Testing this theory, Stanley Miller at the University of Chicago duplicated these conditions in the laboratory. He distilled seawater in a special apparatus, passed the vapor with ammonia, methane and hydrogen through an electrical discharge at frequent intervals, and condensed the “rain” to return to the boiling seawater. Within a week, the seawater had turned red. Analysis showed that it contained amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein substances. Whether this is what really happened early in the Earth’s history is not important; the experiment demonstrated that the basic ingredients of life could have been made in some such fashion, setting the stage for life to come into existence in the sea. The saline fluids in most living things may be an inheritance from such early beginnings.

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