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Meteorites Brought DNA "Ancestors" to Earth, Study Says

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posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 02:38 PM
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(I don't think anyone has posted this news story in this section yet, but if so please notify me)

"Some of life's raw ingredients may have originated in space, says a new analysis of an Australian meteorite that adds more fuel to the controversial theory.

Researchers discovered the organic molecules uracil and xanthine in the meteorite and confirmed they could not have formed on Earth.

These molecules, called nucleobases, are precursors to DNA, a set of genetic instructions for organisms on Earth. (Get the facts on DNA.)

Uracil and xanthine may also have been stepping-stones to RNA, which builds proteins in organisms.

"Emergent life systems may have adopted nucleobases from meteoritic fragments for use in an early and primitive genetic material, enabling them to pass on their successful features to the next generations," said study leader Zita Martins of Imperial College London.

The finding supports an idea first proposed by astronomer Carl Sagan and a colleague in 1992. Some of life's crucial building blocks, they said, were forged in the hearts of roving comets and asteroids, which seeded them throughout the cosmos.

(Related: "Did Comets Make Life on Earth Possible?" [October 2, 2003].)

"It could be that these molecules landed in just the right place at the right time and helped to make us what we are," said Max Bernstein, an astrochemist at NASA Ames Research Center in California who was not involved in the study.";

Full story;

news.nationalgeographic.com...



Interesting stuff, sounds plausible enough to me, also interesting because it increases the chance of there being life elsewhere in the universe (even if it turns out to be very primitive).

What do you think of the recent news of this this study/or and theory in general?




posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 02:58 PM
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"Raw materials?" So what? You show me a good explanation as to how those raw materials somehow managed to magically arrange themselves into the tiny little machines we call living cells, and I'll give you a nice, hot cookie.

That panspermia theorizing is all well and good except for one little thing. We have yet to find life anywhere but on Earth. Not even so much as a bacteria anywhere else. So until somebody discovers at least a one tiny little ET bug, then it's just as easy to say that against astronomic odds, life started right here on Earth, and there is no life anywhere else.



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 04:37 PM
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These aren't just any raw materials, these are the building blocks of DNA and the equivilent to a DNA ancestor. Anyways, the theory doesn't pretend that it has the whole story of life sussed, but this theory and its evidence/research is the best/most plausible thing we have so at explaining how life was created- minus this theory and you're looking at theories of gods or aliens introducing life to earth (which quite frankly i don't entertain as much).

I think there is a chance (or at least a possibility that we haven't ruled out for certain) that life exists elsewhere in the universe, but for life as we know it to exist elsewhere in the universe, it needs to have earth-like planet conditions to develop on. So far we have not found such a planet, the closest thing we've got so far is Mars, and that is hardly a hospitable environment as it is. The main thing for life going on Mars is that perhaps it once existed on Mars when conditions were more hospitable (although we don't know for certain that they were), but thats just a theory and so far no solid evidence of life (previous or current) on Mars has been found of any sort.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 06:44 AM
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Originally posted by Nohup
"Raw materials?" So what? You show me a good explanation as to how those raw materials somehow managed to magically arrange themselves into the tiny little machines we call living cells, and I'll give you a nice, hot cookie.



No magic involved.

It's know as "Self Assembly."

Self assembly is a common natural phenomenon in nature.

Ever see a sugar crystal?

Nucleic acids have been shown to self assemble.

Again, no magic involved.

Gooooooogle this "self assembling nucleic acids"



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