Building Blocks of Life Discovered in Meteorites

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The building blocks of life in discovered in meteorites by team of scientist from NASA.

A team of scientists say that sugar molecules are found in two different fallen meteorites-crucial for the development of life on Earth. The discovery suggests that sugars may have been delivered to Earth by meteor impacts, per a NASA press release.

Building Blocks of Life Discovered in Meteorites
Building Blocks of Life Discovered in Meteorites. Pentose sugar of DNA.

One of the sugars is the RNA element ribose, a crucial biological building block, and our understanding of how life originated is complicated by the discovery that it may have come from space.

The scientists, who come from NASA and a trio of Japanese universities, have taken extra steps to ensure that their samples have not just been contaminated.

Yet, according to the research published Monday in the journal PNAS, the carbon atoms contained in the sugar molecules of the meteorites are different from those commonly found on Earth.

The team is hoping to double check by looking for ribose in pure space rock samples, such as those taken from the asteroid Ryugu currently on its way to Earth.

Also Read: How Close Are We In Mining Asteroids?

Researchers have not discovered the sugars that make up DNA, but ribose is a key component of RNA that may have first evolved in evolutionary history.

Research provides the first direct evidence of space ribose and the delivery of sugar to Earth,” Tohoku University’s lead researcher Yoshihiro Furukawa said in the NASA release.

“Extraterrestrial sugar may have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic Earth that may have led to origin of life.”

Futurism originally published this article.


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