Researchers Brew Up Organics on Ice

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At www.jpl.nasa.gov

Scientists think that the basic ingredients of life, including water and organics, began their journey to Earth on these lonesome ice particles. The ice and organics would have found their way into comets and asteroids, which then fell to Earth, delivering 'prebiotic' ingredients that could have jump-started life. The very basic steps needed for the evolution of life may have started in the coldest regions of our universe. Researchers were surprised to see organic chemistry brewing up on ice, at these very cold temperatures in their lab. The results revealed that the PAHs had transformed: they had incorporated hydrogen atoms into their structure and lost their circular, aromatic bonds, becoming more complex organics. This is the type of change that would need to occur if the material were to eventually become amino acids and nucleotides - bits and pieces of protein and DNA, respectively.

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At www.jpl.nasa.gov


 

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