Scientists find DNA bases in meteorites

Scientists find DNA bases in meteorites

Finally, all the base units of the so-called “molecule of life“Found in samples of” Meteorite, The discovery by Japanese researchers concluded the mapping of two DNA bases, cytosine and thymine.

This is important because the five nucleobases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine and uracil) all make up DNA and RNA. In turn, these contain instructions on how to build and operate every living thing on Earth.


While this finding supports the panspermia hypothesis, it does not represent the final evidence that life may exist. Earth sown from space. Therefore, we still cannot reject the other established theory in the field that suggests that life arose from the prebiotic soup available at the beginning of the planet.

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Now, scientists will be able to better understand how life began on Earth and even conduct experiments that help answer one of the main questions asked to date: “An inanimate chemical How can the compound transform itself and generate living beings?” ,

“It is adding more and more pieces; Meteorites now contain sugars and bases. It is exciting to see progress in manufacturing fundamental molecules of biology from space,” said Daniel Glavin of Goddard Space Center NASA,

new analysis method

Until now, scientists examining extraterrestrial samples had identified only three out of five nucleobases. It was the team of Professor Hiroshi Naroka of Hokkaido University who managed to identify the other two.

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DNA and RNA are made up of five nucleobases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. Image: Enzozo/Shutterstock

It is thought that cytosine and thymine were not previously identified due to the process of extracting samples from meteorites. In previous experiments, the researchers created a type of “meteorite tea.” That is, they placed rock grains in hot formic acid to allow the molecules to be removed from the solution.

However, this solution would have deformed the more delicate structure of these two bases.
This time, Japanese scientists used cold water to extract the compounds. In addition, they used instruments capable of performing more sensitive analysis. That is, they were able to identify molecules present in small quantities.

The research is important not only because it has completed a picture of the molecules that may have shaped the beginning of life on Earth. With the new extraction technique, scientists will be able to more effectively collect information from meteors and asteroids – particularly from samples from Earth. BennuWhich is aboard the OSIRIS-REx mission and is expected to come to Earth in 2023.

via technological innovation

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About the author: Raven Weber

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