Discover all the building blocks of DNA in meteorites | National Geographic

Does life exist on Earth only because meteorites from space provided the necessary building blocks? Researchers have been asking themselves this question for several years. Because simple, single-celled life arose on Earth 3.9 billion years ago – and thus very quickly after the planet was formed. The researchers believe this development must be propelled – with the building blocks of space.

According to this theory, cosmic particles could first accumulate in dust and rocks and then reach Earth with meteorites or comets. It may also have contained nucleophilic bases – the components of DNA and RNA – that would have favored the emergence of life on Earth.

This assumption became more realistic in February 2022. At that time, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy found in one study He discovered that complex molecules such as peptides, that is, chains of amino acids, can form in space. Measurement data from space probes and analyzes of meteorites have also shown that organic compounds such as sugar and some nuclear bases can also be found in meteorite dust and ice. What was missing to confirm the hypothesis? The detection of two specific nucleobases without which neither DNA nor RNA can form: cytosine and thymine.

Now revealed a new one study By a research team led by Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University in Japan in the journal Nature Communications Wow: For the first time, all five nucleobases, which are necessary for the formation of mRNA and mRNA, can be extracted from three meteorite samples. The basis of the origin of life on earth?

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