Monday, June 16, 2008

Men could be from Mars - Women, even farther away!

A long time staple of science fiction is life on Earth being "salted" from extra-terrestrial sources. Finding what appeared to be ancient microbes in Mar's meteorites only served to foster the idea further. However according to recent research panspermia may be more than the fodder of the science fiction writer. Research on the Murchison meteor, which landed in Australia in 1969, found molecules in those meteorite fragments that confirmed some of the raw material for DNA and RNA did not contaminate the rock after it landed on Earth, but actually originated in space. Scientists figure that since the Murchison meteor fell to Earth bringing the molecules uracial and xanthine — precursors to DNA — there must have been a lot of this stuff pelting the planet billions of years ago. There are about 70 different amino acids in the Murchison meteorite. About six or so are the same kinds of amino acids associated with life on Earth. Though not conclusive, since these chemicals can also be synthesized on Earth, it does however show that the building blocks could very well have originated somewhere else entirely!

Nova Science Now story
IO9 Article

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