DNA components found in meteorites
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
A recently published study in theindicates that the essential building blocks for early life on Earth may have indeed been delivered through extraterrestrial material such as . These molecules, known as , are key components of and have been found in meteorites several times before.
However, until now, scientists could never be certain that these compounds were native to the meteorites or if they were simply contamination from the terrestrial environment in which they landed. To this end, researchers analyzed eleven different organic-rich meteorites, called, for the presence of nucleobases and found that three of these molecules are very rare on Earth.
Additionally, none of these nucleobases were found in the soil or ice in close proximity to where the meteorites were found. This led the researchers to conclude that it was likely that these molecules were extraterrestrial in origin which could mean that life on Earth may have originally been seeded by such material.
- "Meteorites Carried Life's Building Block to Earth" — , August 9, 2011
- Charles Q. Choi. "Building Blocks of DNA Found in Meteorites from Space" — , August 8, 2011