Scientist discover all ingredients necessary for DNA in meteorite for first time

Exactly how regular matter first transmuted into the organised self-replicating assemblies of molecules that we call life on Earth is the focus of ongoing scientific research. But a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications strengthens theories that hold the basis of life came from outer space. Using new techniques of chemical analysis, Japanese researchers have now shown all the amino acids necessary to form DNA and RNA, the genetic basis of life can be found in small meteorites that fall to Earth. These “nucleobases” are not examples of extraterrestrial life, but instead the result of chemistry taking place on asteroids while in space, which may then have seeded Earth with the necessary prebiotic material to help the development of life. That material, the study authors write, may have “contributed to the emergence of genetic properties for the earliest life on Earth.” “The absolute abundance of nucleobases of extraterrestrial origin could be enough for further chemical reactions on the early Earth,” said Yasuhiro Oba … the lead author of the new study. Scientists running simulations of the chemistry taking place on interstellar asteroids seemed to find more evidence supporting the idea that genetic material could form in space, according to Dr Oba. He believes it’s likely the prebiotic chemistry from multiple sources was important to the origins of life – it’s possible terrestrial and extraterrestrial chemistry made their own contributions.

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