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Molecules that transformed into earliest life forms may have come from space

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In the hunt for these molecules, Remijan and colleagues scanned a star-forming region of the Milky Way called L1157-B1 using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA).
(image by NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Astronomers have found tentative traces of a precursor chemical to the building blocks of life near a star-forming region about 1,000 light-years from Earth. If confirmed, it would mean scientists had found a chemical that could potentially seed life on other worlds, and may have played a role in life's origin on our home planet about 3.6 billion years ago. Some astronomers think that the ingredients for life are formed in cold, gas, dust, and plasma-filled interstellar clouds. Comets, asteroids and meteors forming in these clouds bear such chemicals, and as they continually bombard planets, they could have deposited the chemicals on Earth or other worlds. So while life may have emerged from hydrothermal vents on Earth, the molecules that eventually transformed into the earliest life forms had to come from somewhere, and that 'somewhere' may have space.

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We may not be surprised that the astronomers may r... by Mahalingam Santhri N on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 3:16:02 AM