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Rasberries, Rum and Evolution

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posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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Infrared spectroscopy has confirmed the existence of ethyl formate (amongst other chemicals) in deep space. Ethyl formate gives raspberries their distinct flavour, and also smells like rum.

A raspberry flavoured galactic centre with a hint of rum
(This link is from a renowned scientific resource site.)

Considering the existence of a vast array of complex molecules being confirmed in space, would it be outrageous to suggest that perhaps many fruits, animals etc did not evolve their flavours as we think, but simply adopted what was already available in the atmosphere?

To quote from the link:

"If these molecules are detected, it implies that the molecules necessary for life on Earth (or planets in other stellar systems) are formed at a very early stage, before those planets have even formed. This means that newly formed planets may be "seeded" for life, with these prebiotic molecules already present. It would then be a very much shorter step from the formation of a planet to the inception of life on its surface."




[edit on 6/5/2009 by Saurus]




posted on May, 6 2009 @ 10:46 AM
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super cool post.

i had read elsewhere a year or so ago, about a Square Shaped Nebula and Saturn's Hexagon which are geometric shapes floating around in space. so things can align themselves into any pattern in the interstellar medium, given the right energies and materials found.

this is interesting. reminds me of the article about the astronauts who say Space has a Smell.

S&F for showing my next vacation destination!!



posted on May, 6 2009 @ 12:25 PM
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This is cool. It's kind of saying that the traits of an object are predetermined, the traits are around before the thing itself. I've never really thought deeply about freewill and determinism (Ihave but it's a long time ago) but this has implications, purely philosophical from a human POV but nevertheless worthy of thought.



posted on May, 6 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Would someone please put the lime in the coconut and pass me one of these!!!

We "named" the raspberry and associate it by its odor and flavor. Not the other way around. However a raspberry, rum universe...via association...sounds enticing.

Peace.



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 03:13 AM
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Yes, life does 'grab whatever is in the air' - not to mention the water, the soil, the rocks, even space itself (ultimately, all plants and animals are solar powered, except the deep, deep-sea ones that rely on geothermal energy).

Yet I doubt whether esters and other complex organic compounds found in interstellar dust clouds would survive the state changes involved in star and planetary system formation. No, they would have to combine out of basic elements in the planet's atmosphere and crust once all the hot stuff is over.

[edit on 7/5/09 by Astyanax]



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I think you may be right.

Still, if complex molecules can form in deep space, where the resources for their synthesis are few and far between, then I would suggest that the spontaneous synthesis of complex molecules on a planet's atmosphere would be much more likely.

As far as I'm aware, our current evolution theory suggests that simple molecules are formed first, and that living creatures synthesize more complex molecules from the simple ones.

If complex molecules are formed spontaneously, we could skip a few steps in the evolution process.

At the very least, the spontaneous formation of complex molecules is one extra piece of evidence for evolutionary theory.

(Unless of course, we were right in the first place, in saying that complex molecules must be formed by living creatures, which would imply the existence of life in deep space.)



posted on May, 7 2009 @ 04:09 AM
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Now if you can find me a pineapple-vodka galactic centre at least 40% I will contribute funds to your research in it.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 10:34 PM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


The molecules are not especially complex. Ethanol is a two carbon compound and formic acid is a one carbon compound. Esterification is a likely outcome of propinquity. Plants making the same simple molecules would produce similar esters and the fact that they may occur in space has little to do with their synthesis on earth.
BTW, the author misunderstands the naming system and assumes that butyronitrile [incorrectly referred to as "propyl cyanide"] is similar in toxicity to cyanide ion. While it will not do a body good, it s not nearly as toxic as cyanide salts.



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 11:00 PM
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absolutely freaking outstanding find, Saurus. I am going to spend about an hour lying awake considering this in the framework of my current understanding of the universe.

I believe that life is THE rule, and that you will likely find various forms of life everywhere that there is plasma to fuel it. The reason being, the fractal nature of reality.

To find that we have clouds of raspberry flavored vapor, along with the finds of clouds of "beer" as well as vast clouds of water, tells me one thing: we are on the right track with the fractal universe concept.

Molecules will only fit together in so many ways, and they are always drawn to each other. You will find the same compounds and molecules everywhere in our universe.

Thanks for sharing, OP. Out-freaking-standing.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 06:23 AM
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Originally posted by pteridine
reply to post by Saurus
 


The molecules are not especially complex. Ethanol is a two carbon compound and formic acid is a one carbon compound. Esterification is a likely outcome of propinquity. Plants making the same simple molecules would produce similar esters and the fact that they may occur in space has little to do with their synthesis on earth.
BTW, the author misunderstands the naming system and assumes that butyronitrile [incorrectly referred to as "propyl cyanide"] is similar in toxicity to cyanide ion. While it will not do a body good, it s not nearly as toxic as cyanide salts.


I agree with you about the toxicity of butyronitrile.

However, I think the synthesis of the ester in deep space is still remarkable for the following reason...

For the ester to form, certain conditions are needed:
- The molecules (ethanol and formic acid) must collide.
- The molecules must collide with the correct orientation.
- The molecules must collide with sufficient energy for the reaction to occur.

Statistically, the chance of all these conditions being met is small with low concentrations of the reactants, and for them to be met enough times to create a high enough concentration of the ester to detect it on earth would imply a massive concentration of both ethanol and formic acid.

So what causes these high concentrations? Life, maybe?

[edit on 9/5/2009 by Saurus]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


The rate of a chemical reaction is a function of concentration or partial pressure and a rate constant. Given that gas clouds may be irradiated by energetic EM for billions of years, the chances that the collisions will meet the conditions in your post greatly improve.
One way to test this would be to look for other products of reaction between simple molecules if they could be readily detected by spectrometers on/near earth. The nice thing about esters is the strong carbonyl band in the IR. Detecting things like formaldehyde is easier than detecting its hemiacetal with ethanol, for example. Follow-on compounds in a chemical aufbau process would be in even lower concentrations and may be masked by the simpler compounds.



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 03:35 PM
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The rate constant is temperature dependent. I don't see how EM radiation would increase the rate constant...



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


Hard UV generates free radicals and would likely be an important driving force for chemical reactions along those pathways. There would be many reactions occurring in parallel.



posted on May, 10 2009 @ 10:20 PM
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Outstanding news! Now if they can find a strand of self replicating DNA in that cloud, that'd pretty much wrap up the theory of evolution on Earth.



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by Saurus
The rate constant is temperature dependent. I don't see how EM radiation would increase the rate constant...


Do you see how food becomes warm when you put it inside a microwave oven? That's how EM radiation effects temperature and thus rate constant.

About your first hypothesis, it doesn't sound very plausible.

[edit on 11-5-2009 by rhinoceros]



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


So what causes these high concentrations? Life, maybe?

I wonder whether anyone on ATS - or in the world - is qualified to estimate what the concentration of alcohol and formic acid should be, given the rate of EM infall at an 'average' location inside a dust cloud. Do the necessary data even exist? Any astrophysicists on board this space schooner who can tell us?

I rather hope not, Saurus, because this idea of yours is utterly charming and would make a wonderful basis for a science-fiction story (of the old Analog or hard-science-fiction school). Perhaps Gregory Benford could write it.

Or maybe I will. Gosh, think of all the different ways to approach it. The producers of the esters - what would they be like? And the products - what is their function? And could they be desirable to man? Useful in some way a writer could hang a plot on?

And by the way, I can see (just about) why this is in O&C Conspiracy, but I reckon it would do better on Space Exploration. Then again, this forum probably gets more views...



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros
Do you see how food becomes warm when you put it inside a microwave oven? That's how EM radiation effects temperature and thus rate constant.


No, absolutely not!

Microwave is very, very low in energy! (almost the energy of radio waves.) The only reason why a microwave oven heats food is because the frequency corresponds exactly to the rotational frequency of water. The water molecules rotate and collide, thus heating them.

Change the frequency only slightly and it doesn't heat water anymore - it can then be used for cellphone transmissions etc.

Microwave cannot heat anything except water! It simply does not have enough energy. It most certainly cannot heat ethanol or formic acid! (Well, microwaves can't even heat water, except for that single frequency which corresponds to the rotational energy of water.)

[edit on 11/5/2009 by Saurus]



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by pteridine
Hard UV generates free radicals and would likely be an important driving force for chemical reactions along those pathways. There would be many reactions occurring in parallel.


Makes sense. But even a large rate constant won't produce much product if you don't have many reactants.



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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Originally posted by Saurus
No, absolutely not!

Different wavelength, different mode of action. Fact is that EM radiation "excites" matter and thus effects temperature and further rate constant. Do you see how the Sun warms the planet Earth?



posted on May, 11 2009 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


Remember that even though we have low fugacities we have billions of years for reactions to occur.

Microwave radiation is equivalent to rotational energies of molecules so it may not contribute much to the activation energy of reaction.



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