The Cronin Group

Research in the Cronin Group is motivated by the fascination for complex chemical systems, and the desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures that are not based on biologically derived building blocks.


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New Equation Helps Estimate the Probability of Alien Life Elsewhere in the Universe

In a new paper in PNAS, Lee Cronin and Caleb Scharf put forward a new equation that could help predict the likelihood of life arising on other planets in the universe. Inspired by the Drake equation, which was put forward in the 60s to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the galaxy, the equation developed by Cronin and Scharf incorporates factors such as the potential available chemical building blocks in a planet, and the number of building blocks required for a living system. By examining plausible values for these parameters, the likelihood of origin of life events on different planets could be estimated, giving astronomers additional guidance on where to direct their attention. One particularly interesting observation from this approach has been that the exchange of materials between planets within a solar system, as is known to have happened between Earth and Mars, could significantly accelerate the rate of origin of life events within the system through the exchange of complex materials. This insight could allow astronomers to focus on systems with multiple suitable planets as being of particular interest in the search for alien life.

Link to PNAS Paper

Link to Mail Online Article

Link to Gizmodo Article

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Prof. Leroy (Lee) Cronin

Prof Leroy (Lee) Cronin
Regius Chair of Chemistry
Cronin Laboratory
School of Chemistry
Joseph Black Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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442. A robotic prebiotic chemist probes long term reactions of complexifying mixtures

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441. Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry

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440. A molecular computing approach to solving optimization problems via programmable microdroplet arrays

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439. Influence of the Contact Geometry and Counterions on the Current Flow and Charge Transfer in Polyoxometalate Molecular Junctions: A Density Functional Theory Study

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438. Elucidating the Paramagnetic Interactions of an Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Radical-Functionalized Mn-Anderson Cluster

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437. Automatic Generation of 3D-Printed Reactionware for Chemical Synthesis Digitization using ChemSCAD

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436. Optimization of Formulations Using Robotic Experiments Driven by Machine Learning DoE

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435. Digitizing Chemistry Using the Chemical Processing Unit: From Synthesis to Discovery

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434. Convergence of multiple synthetic paradigms in a universally programmable chemical synthesis machine

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433. Peptide sequence mediated self-assembly of molybdenum blue nanowheel superstructures


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