Study: The foundations of life on Earth may have come out of space | Science and Technology | The latest discoveries and studies of DW Arabic | DW

A team led by scientists from Hokkaido University in Japan has discovered organic compounds that can form the backbone of DNA and RNA molecules that are common to all life as we know it.

Using new and highly sensitive analysis techniques for these meteorites, the researchers analyzed three of them that were rich in carbon: the Murchison meteorite that fell in Australia in 1969, the Murray meteorite that fell in Kentucky in 1950, and the Tagish lake that fell. landed in 2000, and landed in Colombia British.

“We detected a variety of pyrimidine-type nucleic acid bases and their structural analogs (the building blocks of nucleic acids that are joined together to form long chains of genetic information) from an extract obtained from the Murchison meteorite,” the team told the newspaper writing. .

It is known that the backbone of DNA and RNA “consists of a chain of sugars to which phosphorus has been added. alive.

Astronomers believe that meteorites and asteroids were present in the early stages of the solar system or even before it, and that their content of carbon materials and nucleic acid bases appeared in them through photochemical reactions between different materials orbiting in space.

The scientists added in the study published in the journal Nature Communications that experiments that simulated how the contents of space material reached and distributed the Earth, suggested the existence of many nucleic acid bases outside the planet, and that these organic compounds already does not exist only in extraterrestrial existence. environments, but It can also exist outside the solar system.

The authors of the study suggest that during the period when the planet was bombarded with large amounts of meteorites in the early period of the planet’s life, i.e. about 4 to 3.8 billion years ago, it is possible that these basic materials arrived with these meteorites, “Therefore, the flow of such organic matter may have played an important role in the chemical evolution of the early Earth,” the study said.

Scientists are waiting for more information and details that the space mission will send OSIRIS-REx Which collects samples of the known asteroids Ryugu and Bennu, which are believed to also contain carbon compounds. The samples will enable researchers to determine the accuracy and seriousness of the idea that the first building blocks of life arrived on Earth by meteorites.

Emad Hassan

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