Open Access Honors Program Thesis
Joshua Sebree, Honors Thesis Advisor
Titan’s atmosphere is unique in that its atmospheric chemistry is thought to be similar to that of the Earth’s atmosphere during the Archean Era, when bacterial life dominated the Earth1. Tholins form as a result of the radiation of organic gases by ultraviolet light. These molecules are considered alike to the prebiotic hazes that formed in the atmosphere of Earth during the Archean Era and which allowed for the eventual development of microbial life2 . This study investigated whether Earth soil bacteria can grow, using laboratory created tholin analogs, or aerosols, as a nutrient source. This study is based on a microbial metabolism study performed by Carl Sagan3, which detailed bacterial growth using Titan-analog aerosols as the sole carbon source. We built upon this study, using aerosol analogs that more closely match those of Titan coupled with modern day detection techniques and basic microbiology evaluation techniques. We have found no conclusive results for or against the findings of the original study.
Year of Submission
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University Honors Designation
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors
1 PDF file (18 pages)
©2018 Clare Laubenthal
Laubenthal, Clare, "New insights into the "manna from heaven" hypothesis" (2018). Honors Program Theses. 327.