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In the new research, the team reports finding excess left-handed isovaline (L-isovaline) in a much wider variety of carbon-rich meteorites. "This tells us our initial discovery wasn't a fluke; that there really was something going on in the asteroids where these meteorites came from that favors the creation of left-handed amino acids," says Dr. Daniel Glavin of NASA Goddard
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It's also possible that other young solar systems encountered different radiation that favored right-handed amino acids. If life emerged in one of these solar systems, perhaps the bias toward right-handed amino acids would be built in just as it may have been for left-handed amino acids here, according to Glavin.
The research was funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), which is administered by NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.; the NASA Cosmochemistry program, the Goddard Center for Astrobiology, and the NASA Post Doctoral Fellowship program. The team includes Glavin, Dworkin, Dr. Michael Callahan, and Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA Goddard.