Despite the fact that today we know a lot about the development of living organisms in the process of evolution, we still don’t know if life exists beyond Earth. For many years, scientists put forward hypotheses and assumptions about what elements are the basic building blocks for the development of life in the Universe. However, the more scientists learn, the more questions they have. So, a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, complicates our understanding of how there can be life. The fact that scientists analyzed samples of two meteorites that fell on our planet, and which was discovered sugar molecules.
Secrets and mysteries of meteorites
As representatives of NASA, in the past our planet was actively hunting for meteorites, which contain molecules of sugar. According to scientists, this discovery may reveal new theories on the understanding of the origin of life. Recall that in the past have been discovered the basic building blocks of life including proteins, DNA and RNA, but the sugar was the missing ingredient. Researchers believe that the meteor strike was allowed to deliver these molecules to the Earth.
In the course of work, the research team analyzed samples of meteorites extraction method. This means that scientists have extracted the original substance using water and hydrochloric acid. This method allows to divide the sugar mass and electric charges. So, according to the results, one of the sugars it contains an RNA component ribose — fundamental biological building block. The discovery that molecules come from space, complicating our understanding of the origin of life and hampers the work of researchers. Possible that this fact inspired scientists to cross-check the obtained results, conducted another study.
Sugar — the missing building block
Note that in the course of the work team, which included scientists from NASA and universities in Japan, was very careful and went the extra effort not to contaminate the samples. However, studies show that the carbon atoms found in sugar molecules of meteorites, in General, different from those found on Earth. In the future, scientists intend to look for ribose in intact samples from the space rocks, similar to the obtained samples of the asteroid , the Ryuga, which is now orbiting the Earth. The second checks the accuracy of the first detection is validated.
According to Yoshihiro of Furukawa from the University Tohoku, studies show that ribose first appeared in space, and the sugar was delivered to our planet. Extraterrestrial sugar may have contributed to the formation of RNA, which is believed to be the source of life on prebiotic Earth. It is expected that this discovery will be a new theory on the origin of life. Further analysis will allow researchers to learn more about the amount of sugar in the alien objects.