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Building Blocks of DNA Found in Meteorites from Space

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posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:09 PM
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I think this lays to rest the debate of life in space.... Life takes every form... microorganisms to beings... but it all starts from somewhere...


Link to Article

The components of DNA have now been confirmed to exist in extraterrestrial meteorites, researchers announced.

A different team of scientists also discovered a number of molecules linked with a vital ancient biological process, adding weight to the idea that the earliest forms of life on Earth may have been made up in part from materials delivered to Earth the planet by from space.

Past research had revealed a range of building blocks of life in meteorites, such as the amino acids that make up proteins. Space rocks just like these may have been a vital source of the organic compounds that gave rise to life on Earth.

Investigators have also found nucleobases, key ingredients of DNA, in meteorites before. However, it has been very difficult to prove that these molecules are not contamination from sources on Earth. [5 Bold Claims of Alien Life]

"People have been finding nucleobases in meteorites for about 50 years now, and have been trying to figure out if they are of biological origin or not," study co-author Jim Cleaves, a chemist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, told SPACE.com.

To help confirm if any nucleobases seen in meteorites were of extraterrestrial origin, scientists used the latest scientific analysis techniques on samples from a dozen meteorites — 11 organic-rich meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites and one ureilite, a very rare type of meteorite with a different chemical composition. This was the first time all but two of these meteorites had been analyzed for nucleobases.

The analytical techniques probed the mass and other features of the molecules to identify the presence of extraterrestrial nucleobases and see that they apparently did not come from the surrounding area.

Two of the carbonaceous chondrites contained a diverse array of nucleobases and structurally similar compounds known as nucleobase analogs. Intriguingly, three of these nucleobase analogs are very rare in Earth biology, and were not found in soil and ice samples from the areas near where the meteorites were collected at the parts-per-billion limits of their detection techniques.

"Finding nucleobase compounds not typically found in Earth's biochemistry strongly supports an extraterrestrial origin," Cleaves said.

"At the start of this project, it looked like the nucleobases in these meteorites were terrestrial contamination — these results were a very big surprise for me," study co-author Michael Callahan, an analytical chemist and astrobiologist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, told SPACE.com.

Lab experiments showed that chemical reactions of ammonia and cyanide, compounds that are common in space, could generate nucleobases and nucleobase analogs very similar to those found in the carbonaceous chondrites. However, the relative abundances of these molecules between the experiments and the meteorites differed, which might be due to further chemical and thermal influences from space.

This findings reveal that meteorites may have been molecular tool kits, providing the essential building blocks for life on Earth, Cleaves said. [7 Theories on the Origin of Life]

"All this has implications for the origins of life on Earth and potentially elsewhere," Callahan said. "Are these building blocks of life transferred to other places where they might be useful? Can alternative building blocks be used to build other things?"

In a different study, researchers discovered molecules that make up key parts of a vital biological pathway, the citric acid cycle, in a number of carbonaceous chondrites.

The citric acid cycle is "thought by many experts to be among the most ancient of biological processes," study co-author George Cooper, a chemist at NASA Ames Research Center, told SPACE.com. "One function of this cycle is respiration, when organisms give off carbon dioxide."

"It is always exciting to find extraterrestrial and ancient 4.6 billion-year-old organic compounds that might have had a role in early life," Cooper added.

Cleaves, Cooper and their colleagues detailed their findings in two studies online Aug. 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
edit on 8-8-2011 by CeeRZ because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:11 PM
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They also just recently discovered oxygen molecules in space storm clouds so as time goes by it appears the evidence is mounting of the possible of life as we know it existing outside of our planet.

Very interesting things going on.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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Life is indestructable... going back to the number one law "Matter can not be created, nor destroyed". They proved life could exist in space when bacteria (Likely from someone sneezing) from one of the shuttle missions, ended up on an instrument of the shuttle. They brought it back, put it in a petree dish, and wala, life came to be after almost 2 weeks in the Vat of space.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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Much like...if you look at a painting of Rembrandt, Picasso or Van Gogh...the music of Mozart, Bach or Van Halen. We leave "finger prints" in everything that we do. God is the same, hence stardust, which is what we are told to be apart of. His fingerprint is all over. Space is the same..and is related to us.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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People, we are bi-products of the stardust...when you look into the sky, you're looking at your reflection

All is one, one is all



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:18 PM
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Very interesting, maybe ET will be inside a comet too.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:19 PM
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S+F!!
Interesting stuff!!!

I just did a google search to look for more coverage, but I also found this link Found: First Amino Acid on a Comet from 2009. So does this mean we are onto something bigger? How much life could be in our Solar System?



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:20 PM
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Why not? We have the same DNA!



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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It seems that we're being slowly brought up to speed on what I feel NASA already knows. There's not only life out there, it's everywhere.

Good post! Star and Flag for you.
edit on 8-8-2011 by Enlightenme1111 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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I brought this up in another thread a while back.......

On earth there does not exist a precursor to the complex molecule of DNA. You can try to argue that RNA is a precursor but it is still too complex to have just formed overnight. If DNA evolved here on planet earth, then a precursor molecule would be simpler than DNA and would be found in the fossil record somewhere.

Also, amino acids are also too complex to just form without evidence of its complexity transitions along the way, wherever these two molecules came from, it is not earth.

People need to wake up and smell the coffee. Life came here from somewhere else.

Now for a bit of clarification, life as we know it is fairly specific to conditions on earth. If we were to find life elsewhere, it will almost definitely be drastically different, even at the single celled level, based on chemical makeup of the surrounding environment. Intelligent life would probably be unrecognizable due to the incredible amount of time it takes for the luck of the draw to form intelligent life. If we did somehow find intelligent that resembled humans in pretty much any way, we would have to assume that they either created us or the isolation occurred more recently. If aliens like grey were found and proven, they would have to be extremely close on an evolutionary scale and isolation would have began very recently.
edit on 9-8-2011 by DarkSarcasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 02:28 AM
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Originally posted by DarkSarcasm
I brought this up in another thread a while back.......

On earth there does not exist a precursor to the complex molecule of DNA. You can try to argue that RNA is a precursor but it is still too complex to have just formed overnight. If DNA evolved here on planet earth, then a precursor molecule would be simpler than DNA and would be found in the fossil record somewhere.

Also, amino acids are also too complex to just form without evidence of its complexity transitions along the way, wherever these two molecules came from, it is not earth.

People need to wake up and smell the coffee. Life came here from somewhere else.

Now for a bit of clarification, life as we know it is fairly specific to conditions on earth. If we were to find life elsewhere, it will almost definitely be drastically different, even at the single celled level, based on chemical makeup of the surrounding environment. Intelligent life would probably be unrecognizable due to the incredible amount of time it takes for the luck of the draw to form intelligent life. If we did somehow find intelligent that resembled humans in pretty much any way, we would have to assume that they either created us or the isolation occurred more recently. If aliens like grey were found and proven, they would have to be extremely close on an evolutionary scale and isolation would have began very recently.
edit on 9-8-2011 by DarkSarcasm because: (no reason given)


I was having that exact same conversation yesterday with someone. I agree that intelligent life may be harder to come by, but not impossible. Even finding an animalistic planet may be harder to find. But, if billions and trillions of planets exist, the odds themselves - even without the proof of DNA and amino acids - give credence to life. Some say rocks are living. Energy in itself is alive. Beings, creatures - that is all speculation - but again can't be ruled out just by the pure expanse of the universe. Which is partially why I think so many people don't want to think about it. Our brains can't think on that scale.... yet. But every time we put a picture to an idea, our brains tend to leach on to more and more, expanding our views, etc. Anyway - rambling on that. Back to what you were saying - I wouldn't think it entirely unlikely if there are intelligent life forms out there even beyond our capabilities, either they will look sooooo similar because we came from them, or they will look sooooo different, we may not know what they are when/if we DO see them. And maybe - they may not be able to survive in our atmosphere because their planet make-up is so entirely different. For example, the theory that aliens came to Earth to mine Gold to return back to their planet because their atmosphere needed the gold for them to survive, as gold is such a good electricity conduction, etc etc.... what kind of anatomy would be required to live on the chemical make-up or physiological affect of gold on their systems? Would they need lungs? Everything depends on where and how life was created. I bet if we were to dump only the necessary nuclei and building blocks of life on Mars, we would find it would grow. And maybe into something we can't classify. Everything wants to survive, and tries it's hardest to overcome.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 05:27 AM
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reply to post by CeeRZ
 


Meteorites from space = SPACESHIP

Yes guys, it makes perfect sense.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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if you think about it. Life is E.T flying through space in/on a space ship.
we even have a Brand name. EARTH



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 07:09 AM
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some talk about this here

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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that blows the god theory out of the _



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 


I always think this is odd though, just because we need oxygen doesnt mean other lifeforms would imo. I think life can form almost anywhere using a massive variety of elements, but obviously this is hard varify! but I believe it



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:03 PM
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The universe is fined tuned to produce life so there's life throughout the universe. Materialist push the notion that the life is some random event and this why we keep asking is there life out there. This is because if you take the materialist view then life is something very difficult for the universe to achieve.

The universe is fined tuned for life just like it's fined tuned to produce stars and planets and that's why we see so many of them. The universe will produce stars, planets, comets, meteors, life and more for a long time.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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So NOW can we toss the bible?!?!!


Anyhow, fantastic find, man, science is wonderful.

I was actually about to create this thread (using popsci's article)...but took me awhile to try and figure out which forum to put it in...it has it all, doesn't it...
Space, science, ET possibility, origins, etc...

Sometimes I think some articles should be able to show up in multiple threads when they cross soo many boundries.

Anyhow, so...what does this mean...another piece in the evolutionary puzzle...I guess that also means all life on earth are actually space creatures



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:24 PM
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incidently:

It’s a pretty convincing case, though one that will undergo a lot more scientific scrutiny. If comets and asteroids really are churning out the ingredients for life, it certainly changes our picture of life in the universe, and the possibility that other rocks out there might be harboring their own biological systems.


Time to update moores law...it appears now if life =can= possibly exist in some form, it will (if meteors are the producers of the foundation).

What an exciting and wildly profound discovery...lets hope it pans out.



posted on Aug, 9 2011 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by clintdelicious
reply to post by kro32
 


I always think this is odd though, just because we need oxygen doesnt mean other lifeforms would imo. I think life can form almost anywhere using a massive variety of elements, but obviously this is hard varify! but I believe it


That is sort of what nasa came out sometime back to suggest. They created an arsenic lifeform, meaning that it can be done naturally..meaning we don't need to find a perfect earth replica to find life, they could live on a methane planet, a sulfur planet, etc...basically planets we would consider to be uninhabitable due to the atmospheric composition





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