Meteorite Chemicals Form Building Blocks of Life

meteoriteA research team at the Tuscia University in Italy has released a study suggesting that the kick-starter for early life may have hitched a ride to earth on the backs of meteorites. Formaldehyde, an organic compound that is posited as the key building block for early microbial life, is known to exist in the centers of galaxies and in stellar nurseries. More importantly, comets and meteorites have been known to carry formaldehyde with them on their journey to earth. The research team theorized that the combination of formaldehyde, meteorite material and the radiation given off by solar wind would cause the combination of a ‘pre-biotic soup’ prime for the creation of life.

Formaldehyde Molecule
Formaldehyde Molecule

To simulate the effects of solar wind, the scientists fired a proton beam into a mixture of formaldehyde and meteorite powder. With exposure, the materials formed amino acids, carboxylic acids, sugars and nucleosides, which together make up the basis for DNA and RNA. The fact that these organic compounds can form out in space gives credence to the idea that life on other worlds may be more similar to life on our own than we would first think.

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One thought on “Meteorite Chemicals Form Building Blocks of Life

  1. Dude, awesomeness!! What a great find! I’m going to have to use that info in classes in the future 🙂 I love that there is so much out there that we can find and so many different ways of getting prebiotics to Earth. There HAS to be other life out there 🙂

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