General, Research, Technology

NASA found the building blocks of life in two meteors

Despite the fact that today we know a lot aboutthe development of living organisms in the process of evolution, we still do not know whether life exists outside the Earth. For many years, scientists have put forward hypotheses and assumptions about which elements are the main building blocks for the development of life in the universe. However, the more scientists learn, the more questions they have. So, a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences complicates our understanding of how life can arise. The fact is that scientists analyzed samples of two meteorites that fell on our planet and in which sugar molecules were discovered.

It is possible that life on Earth arose thanks to the molecules that came to us from space

Secrets and mysteries of meteorites

According to representatives of NASA, in the past ourThe planet was actively bombarded by meteorites that contained sugar molecules. According to scientists, this discovery may reveal new theories about understanding the origin of life. Recall that in the past, the basic building blocks of life were discovered, including components of proteins, DNA and RNA, but sugars were the missing element. Researchers believe that a meteorite hit allowed these molecules to be delivered to Earth.

In the course of work, the research teamanalyzed meteorite samples by extraction. This means that scientists extracted the starting material using water and hydrochloric acid. This method allows you to separate the sugar by mass and electric charge. So, according to the results, one of the sugars contains the RNA component of ribose, the main biological building block. The discovery that molecules come from outer space makes our understanding of the origin of life a little more difficult and makes the work of researchers more difficult. It is possible that it was this fact that prompted scientists to double-check the results by conducting another study.

Sugar molecule obtained by analysis of samples of celestial bodies

Sugar - the missing building block

Note that in the course of work the team to whichscientists from NASA and Japanese universities entered, was very careful and made extra efforts so as not to contaminate the samples. However, according to studies, carbon atoms found in sugar molecules of meteorites were generally different from those found on Earth. In the future, scientists intend to look for ribose in intact samples from space rocks, similar to the samples obtained from the asteroid Ryugu, which is now in Earth’s orbit. During the second check, the accuracy of the first detection will be confirmed.

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According to Yoshihiro Furukawa of the UniversityTohaku, studies show that the first ribose appeared in space, and sugar was delivered to our planet. Extraterrestrial sugar may have contributed to the formation of RNA, which is believed to be the source of life on prebiotic Earth. With this discovery, new theories about the origin of life are expected to appear. Further analysis will allow researchers to learn more about the amount of sugar in extraterrestrial objects.