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Life may have started in ice!

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posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:24 PM

As Miller and his former student Jeffrey Bada brushed the frost from the vial that morning, they could see that something had happened. The mixture of ammonia and cyanide, normally colorless, had deepened to amber, highlighting a web of cracks in the ice. Miller nodded calmly, but Bada exclaimed in shock. It was a color that both men knew well—the color of complex polymers made up of organic molecules. Tests later confirmed Miller's and Bada’s hunch. Over a quarter-century, the frozen ammonia-cyanide blend had coalesced into the molecules of life: nucleobases, the building blocks of RNA and DNA, and amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The vial’s contents would support a new account of how life began on Earth and would arouse both surprise and skepticism around the world.

This was posted a few days ago in the breaking news forum, but didn't receive much attention there, so I'm posting it here because I think this is significant news and deserves more attention IMHO.

The implications from these new findings are wide reaching. Firstly, it extends the habitable zone so that it no longer only includes our position/orbit, but also other bodies in our solar system (and indeed others) where water is present but not necessarily as large bodies of liquid.

Secondly, the Drake equation will probably have to be revised to take account of these new findings, and therefore the probability of finding life, and possibly intelligent life outside our own solar system has increased.

This new discovery also lends weight to the theory of Panspermia - which says that life began somewhere other than Earth, and may have "seeded" it's self here on Earth by hitching a lift on a meteoroid, asteroid or comet.

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:32 PM
Indeed. It would seem that life will ind a way, to quote a certain movie. And this drive that is to be found in all forms of life that we know about, may well be "thicker" in the universe than we have ever imagined.

We have not even yet determined exactly what life is and is not.

There are many things to explore in these areas.

Good post.

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:33 PM
Wow! Very fascinating find! Starred and flagged.

This could mean that there is a chance for life to evolve on Titan as well. The building blocks are already there.

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