A recent study revealed that Four major components of DNA have been found in the remains of space rocks that fell to Earth in the last quarter century.
A discovery celebrated by the scientific community, It strengthens the hypothesis that the ancestors of life originally came from space.
So far, scientists analyzing extraterrestrial samples have found only three of the top five DNA samples. However, there is a recent analysis of The Meteorites that fell in the United States, Canada and Australiaidentified the last two nuclear bases that eluded specialists.
“We have completed the set of bases found in meteorite DNA,” noted Danielle Glavin, an astrochemist at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who was involved in the study published in the journal. Nature Communications.
The new review thus reinforces the idea that These things may have brought to Earth in the early years of its history the biochemical components of the emergence of life.
The formation of DNA and RNA will be an important parameter, as these molecules mainly contain the instructions for the formation and development of organisms.
“There is still a lot to learn about the chemical steps that led to the origin of life on Earth, the first self-reproductive system,” Glavin added.
“This research certainly adds to the list of chemical compounds that would have been present in the prebiotic soup (existing before life) on the early Earth,” he added.
method of analysis
Unlike previous works, The methods used this time were more sensitive They did not use strong acids or hot liquids To extract the five ingredientsknown as nuclear bases, according to astrochemist Yasuhiro Oba of the Institute of Low Temperature Sciences at Hokkaido University, Japan, and lead author of the study.
Nuclear bases are nitrogen-containing compounds necessary to form the characteristic double helical structure of DNA.
Material of three meteorites
researchers I examined material from three meteorites: It fell in 1950 near the town of Murrayin the US state of Kentucky, Another fell in 1969 near the town of Murchison, In the Australian state of Victoria, Another fell in 2000 near Lake Tagish. in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
All three are classified as carbonaceous chondrites, Formed from rocky material believed to have formed in the early years of the solar system’s history. It is rich in carbon: the Murchison and Murray meteorites contain about 2 percent organic carbon by weight, and the Tagish Lake meteorite contains about 4 percent organic carbon. Carbon is one of the basic components of Earth’s organisms.
“The current results may not directly explain the origin of life on Earth, but I believe they may improve our understanding of the list of organic molecules on Earth early on before life began,” Oba explained.