Origins Institute members have pioneered technology to provide experimental evidence about how ‘life’ (i.e., living entities) formed on Earth.
The Origin of Life Laboratory features the Planetary Simulator, the first machine on Earth that can simulate conditions on other planets. This environmental simulation chamber allows researchers to mimic conditions present early during Earth history and explore how the building blocks for life were assembled and transitioned into the first genetic material.
By understanding how life formed on Earth, researchers can use the simulator to replicate conditions on other planets to explore whether life as we know it could have formed (or could form) elsewhere in the universe. The environmental simulation chamber also can be utilised to explore whether life as we know it could have existed (or could exist) elsewhere in the universe.
The Origin of Life Laboratory was created through a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant with support from the Office of Research & Innovation, Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Origins Institute researchers collaborated with Angstrom Engineering to design and construct the Planetary Simulator.