Both authors are professors at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 1996. As a professor for Geology, Ulrich Schreiber did research on volcanism and tectonics, studies on gas permeable fault zones and hydrothermal systems. In 2003, he identified a connection between the locations of forest ant nests and gas permeable faults. The investigations of these faults ultimately led to a new model for the origin of life. The starting point here is supercritical CO2, which occurs in tectonic faults of the continental crust at depths of around 1000 m. Together with Christian Mayer, professor for Physical Chemistry, he conducted laboratory experiments that simulated the conditions of the continental crust. In the course of these experiments, Christian Mayer for the first time successfully demonstrated a chemical evolution of peptides in association with vesicles under real-world conditions. This in connection with the author's discoveries of organic chemical molecules in archaic hydrothermal quartz from Western Australia can be seen as evidence of complex prebiotic chemistry in the upper crust.
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