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Life On Earth May Be Extraterrestrial

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posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 07:35 PM
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www.informationweek.com...


NASA discovery of amino acid on comet suggests ingredients for organic proteins came from outer space.

NASA said Monday that a comet scoured by its Stardust spacecraft was found to be carrying an amino acid that is an essential building block for organic life. It's the first time such an amino acid, glycine in this case, has been discovered on a comet.

"Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts," said James Elsila, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Stardust collected samples from the comet Wild 2 by flying through its debris trail in January of 2004. It took researchers two years just to develop techniques to accurately analyze the tiny samples. Officials said NASA's findings reinforce the view that Earth is not the only planet in the universe that supports organic life.

"The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare," said Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.

Organic life in any known form is comprised of proteins that are derived from varying combinations of 20 different amino acids. NASA's findings suggest comets can act like interstellar bees, disseminating life throughout the universe by distributing amino assets to planets like the insects spread pollen.

"We discovered that the Stardust-returned glycine has an extraterrestrial carbon isotope signature, indicating that it originated on the comet," said Elsila.

NASA presented its research results this week at a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, DC.


NASA source: stardust.jpl.nasa.gov...

Other sources:

news.bbc.co.uk...

www.google.com...

www.gearlog.com...

Ingredient for life detected in comet dust

www.sciencenews.org...

english.chosun.com...

Fascinating discovery!!!
This evidence almost guarantees that life is prevalent, and spreads DNA building blocks via supernovae, which evolves into different constituent lifeforms on planets the planetary fragments and comets come into contact with in each solar system that is suitable for life. Some could be sentient like us, and if some planets are just like the Earth then maybe the life will look similar to the diverse life on earth, possibly even some aliens who look very similar to us IMO.


[edit on 19-8-2009 by john124]




posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 07:43 PM
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NASA Researchers Make First Discovery of Life's Building Block in Comet


NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts."

Elsila is the lead author of a paper on this research accepted for publication in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The research will be presented during the meeting of the American Chemical Society at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, DC, August 16.

"The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare," said Dr. Carl Pilcher, Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute which co-funded the research.

Proteins are the workhorse molecules of life, used in everything from structures like hair to enzymes, the catalysts that speed up or regulate chemical reactions. Just as the 26 letters of the alphabet are arranged in limitless combinations to make words, life uses 20 different amino acids in a huge variety of arrangements to build millions of different proteins.

Stardust passed through dense gas and dust surrounding the icy nucleus of Wild 2 (pronounced "Vilt-2") on January 2, 2004. As the spacecraft flew through this material, a special collection grid filled with aerogel b a novel sponge-like material that's more than 99 percent empty space b gently captured samples of the comet's gas and dust. The grid was stowed in a capsule which detached from the spacecraft and parachuted to Earth on January 15, 2006. Since then, scientists around the world have been busy analyzing the samples to learn the secrets of comet formation and our solar system's history.

"We actually analyzed aluminum foil from the sides of tiny chambers that hold the aerogel in the collection grid," said Elsila. "As gas molecules passed through the aerogel, some stuck to the foil. We spent two years testing and developing our equipment to make it accurate and sensitive enough to analyze such incredibly tiny samples."

Earlier, preliminary analysis in the Goddard labs detected glycine in both the foil and a sample of the aerogel. However, since glycine is used by terrestrial life, at first the team was unable to rule out contamination from sources on Earth. "It was possible that the glycine we found originated from handling or manufacture of the Stardust spacecraft itself," said Elsila. The new research used isotopic analysis of the foil to rule out that possibility.

Isotopes are versions of an element with different weights or masses; for example, the most common carbon atom, Carbon 12, has six protons and six neutrons in its center (nucleus). However, the Carbon 13 isotope is heavier because it has an extra neutron in its nucleus. A glycine molecule from space will tend to have more of the heavier Carbon 13 atoms in it than glycine that's from Earth. That is what the team found. "We discovered that the Stardust-returned glycine has an extraterrestrial carbon isotope signature, indicating that it originated on the comet," said Elsila.

The team includes Dr. Daniel Glavin and Dr. Jason Dworkin of NASA Goddard. "Based on the foil and aerogel results it is highly probable that the entire comet-exposed side of the Stardust sample collection grid is coated with glycine that formed in space," adds Glavin.

"The discovery of amino acids in the returned comet sample is very exciting and profound," said Stardust Principal Investigator Professor Donald E. Brownlee of the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash. "It is also a remarkable triumph that highlights the advancing capabilities of laboratory studies of primitive extraterrestrial materials."

The research was funded by the NASA Stardust Sample Analysis program and the NASA Astrobiology Institute. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Stardust mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, developed and operated the spacecraft.



posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 08:55 PM
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Here´s a hint www.wimp.com...

Is anyone surprised?



posted on Aug, 19 2009 @ 08:57 PM
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This is not a surprise,if you believe that the whole universe (us included of course) all started from the same source.



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 06:34 AM
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Originally posted by Spacevelvet
This is not a surprise,if you believe that the whole universe (us included of course) all started from the same source.



Orignally posted by m4ng4n
Here´s a hint www.wimp.com...

Is anyone surprised?


Hmmm, not really saying it's a surprise. I was saying that it's nice when we can say there's direct evidence that life may seed by comets. The hubble field doesn't prove that, although does tell us the universe is vast enough that we should find life elsewhere. The other evidence prior to this hadn't told us that life is probably prevalent throughout our galaxy, as we needed a small leap of faith or intuition. But now we don't require that! I for one would be extremely surprised if our galaxy isn't teeming with life like our own planet earth.

It's not a surprise that most people here don't realise the importance of this because they're already clouded with fantasy, and probably expect something to see with their own eyes from NASA before they even take notice. Not saying either of you, just that on ats you often see a thread debating for dozens of pages about whether god exists or not, but some actual real & important science has a handful of comments - Just human nature I suppose.


[edit on 20-8-2009 by john124]



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by john124
 


yea i have the same though, i made the same topic yesterday and nobody was realy interested about it , i was thinking that we could have a serious talk,because it's another evidence but no.
if i had put on my head line "They find an alien riding a comet and nasa is hiding it" i'm sure we will have a great debate



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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awesome discovery!
i cant wait to hear more about this one...

wow!

cheers,
AA



posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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wow this would be a very big discover to find amino acids common throughout the universe. However does one have to consider the orbit of the comet? As since the sun is a second or even third stage star with heavier elements than iron present. Could this comet be formed from the same particles as Earth in the early stages of the solar system?

It would be a good discovery if the comet came from an orbit outside of the sun. Isn’t it's quite possible that amino acids have only recently appeared in comets???

Also another point,

This type of amino acid is not part of the DNA sequence. Isnt it apart of the RNA one??

I found this comment on New Scientist interesting

“Let me clarify a few points. First, many of the meteorites found on Earth that have amino acids in them are carbonaceous chondrites - very primitive rocks that are thought to be among the oldest materials in the solar system. So in fact there is evidence that amino acids formed early, and we know there were many impacts on the early Earth. Theory also suggests glycine should be fairly easy to make in space and on comets, so I don't think there's any reason to suspect that comets in the past did not contain it.

Finally, studies suggest that amino acids can survive impacts - most are destroyed but some survive (see, for example, berkeley.edu...).

Maggie

Space editor”



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 08:59 PM
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That Nasa guy's theory sound's dead on those 2 guys a long while back i forget there name's.

but they called it planet spermia or something like that.

Almost same detail.
www.panspermia.com...
there is the link.



posted on Aug, 22 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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It's about time NASA, woke up.
The potential for such has been widely speculated upon for some time.
I guess, now was an opportune moment for proof to be acknowledged.

I have absolutely no doubt that the building blocks of life, as well as life itself, has been raining down on planets since the beginning.
Anything is possible.



posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 01:47 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

Click here for more information.



posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 01:53 AM
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Originally posted by mr.insidious
high levels of YOUR MOM were discovered on a comet

SICK BURN


Ban

Second line



posted on Aug, 23 2009 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by amongus
 


I second that.
What a stupid post.

reply to post by m4ng4n
 


You nailed it! Any one who has seen the deep field images and still believes we are alone is truly ignorant!!!!! Every light source is an entire galaxy!! Containing billions of stars and planetary systems. For humans to be the only life in the galaxy is a very uneducated assumtion. It is much more likely that we are one unique species among the countless numbers of life that are contained within our universe. Our universe is not unique, though. Recent science has shown the univers to be broken up into sections or bubbles if you will called a Multiverse, or as some know them; parallel universe.

Before any one flames i know this is still hypothetical. In reality though with the information presented to us thats available to everyone.... It is darn ignorant to believe that we're alone.



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