Researchers have found that DNA exists and may have originated in meteorites. DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid is the basic building block for life and found in every living creature. The new find could help solve theories that say life on our planet was brought here and developed here because of the right conditions.
Past research had revealed a range of building blocks of life in meteorites, such as the amino acids that make up proteins.
“People have been discovering components of DNA in meteorites since the 1960′s, but researchers were unsure whether they were really created in space or if instead they came from contamination by terrestrial life,” researcher Dr. Michael Callahan explains. “For the first time, we have three lines of evidence that together give us confidence these DNA building blocks actually were created in space,” adds the expert, who is based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in Greenbelt, Maryland.
What the study is suggesting is that the “innate” chemistry of comets and meteorites is capable of producing complex organic molecules. The case for life having emerged here on Earth from processes available billions of years ago is slowly beginning to deteriorate. The research team was also able to determine that some space rocks are more adept at making this type of molecules than others. This discovery was made based on available meteorite samples found here.
The discovery was made using samples from 12 carbon-rich meteorites, nine of them from Antarctica. The team extracted small fragments of the meteorite and ran them through a process to determine their structure. What they found was adenine and guanine. These are two of the nucleobases needed to make the rungs of DNA’s spiral ladder.Stay Connected
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