A new study suggests that the building blocks of life may not have originated on Earth, but rather giant gas clouds in deep space.
The study theorizes that the building blocks of DNA, known as nucleobases, have been spotted in a simulated environment that echoes "interstellar molecular clouds," which can help researchers understand how life began on our planet.
"This result could be key to unraveling the fundamental questions about humanity, such as what organic compounds existed during the formation of the solar system and how they contributed to the birth of life on Earth," lead author of the study Yashuhiro Oba said in a statement.
A published study in 2018 suggests that comet-like objects can "live" germs for thousands of light years. This study adds that these germs can withstand extremely long journeys.
A light year that measures distance in space is 6 trillion miles.
Both, along with other researchers, were able to conduct their experiments in an ultrahigh vacuum reaction chamber using a mixture of water (gas), carbon monoxide, ammonia and methanol. They set the temperature to -263 degrees Celsius and attached two deuterium lamps to the chamber to trigger chemical reactions.
They then used a high resolution mass spectrometer and a high performance liquid chromatograph to analyze the material after warming to room temperature and coming out with their findings. They found several types of nucleobases, including cytosine, uracil, thymine, adenine, xanthine and hypoxanthin.
Both researchers have also discovered amino acids, which are considered as building blocks of proteins, along with many types of dipeptides.
"ALEIN MEGASTUCTURE" IS OLD NOTHING. MORE MYSTERIOUS VIEWING OF OBJECTS.
"Our findings suggest that the processes we reproduce could lead to the formation of molecular precursors to life," adds Oba. "The results can enhance our understanding of the early stages of chemical evolution in space."
The study was published in Nature Communications.
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