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The meteorites could have brought the five genetic DNA “letters” to Earth

The meteorites could have brought the five genetic DNA “letters” to Earth

Conceptual image of meteorites transporting nuclear bases to ancient Earth.

Photo: NASA Goddard/CI Lab/Dan Gallagher/Cortesía

All the building blocks of DNA have now been discovered in meteoritessuggesting that cosmic influences could help bring these ingredients to Earth and Help in the beginning of life on planet Earth in the formation.

Using new analyses, scientists have just found the last two out of five informative units of DNA and RNA that have yet to be discovered in meteorite samples, NASA reports at Declaration.

While it is unlikely that DNA formed in a meteorite, this discovery shows that these genetic fragments are available for delivery into space rocks and may have contributed to the development of molecules useful for life on early Earth.

This discovery, made by an international team with NASA researchers, provides More evidence that chemical reactions in asteroids can produce some of the components of lifeand that it could have been delivered to ancient Earth by meteorite collisions or perhaps by cosmic dust.

It contains all DNA and RNA, which contains the building and operating instructions for every living organism on Earth Five informative components, called nuclear bases.

So far, scientists looking for them in extraterrestrial samples have found only three of the five. However, the latest analysis by a team of scientists led by Associate Professor Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan, Identify the last two nuclear bases that scientists have recovered.

What does the team that discovered them say?

Nuclear bases belong to classes of organic molecules called purines and pyrimidines, which have a great diversity. however, It remains a mystery why more species have not been discovered in meteorites so far.

“I wonder why purines and pyrimidines are exceptional in that they do not show structural diversity in carbonaceous meteorites in contrast to other classes of organic compounds such as amino acids and hydrocarbons?” Aoba, lead author of Article on research Published April 26 in Nature Communications. “Because purines and pyrimidines can be synthesized in extraterrestrial environments, as our study showed, a wide diversity of these organic molecules would be expected to be found in meteorites.”

“We now have evidence that the full set of nuclear bases used in current life could have been available on Earth when life arose,” Danny Glavin, co-author of the article said:From NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

How did they do that

Researchers used The latest analytical technology originally designed for use in genetic and pharmacological research.

This newly discovered nitrogenous base pair, cytosine and thymine, It has been elusive in previous analyzes due to its more refined structure, which may have deteriorated in samples previously.

But Two factors may have contributed to the new discovery: First, the team used cold water to extract the compounds instead of hot formic acid, which is highly reactive and can destroy these fragile molecules in earlier samples. Second, more sensitive assays that can detect smaller amounts of these molecules have been used.

“This group has come up with a technology that is more like a cold infusion than hot tea and is able to extract more delicate compounds,” Jason Dworkin, co-author of the paper at NASA Goddard said. “I was surprised they saw cytosine, which is very fragile.”

It is not proof that we are aliens

Existence It does not provide conclusive evidence as to whether life on Earth was aided from space or produced exclusively in prebiotic soup. for the childhood of the planet.

But completing the set of nuclear bases that make up life today, as well as other particles found in samples of space rocks analyzed, is another opportunity for those trying to understand how life began.

“This adds more and more pieces; now meteorites have been found to contain sugars and bases,” Dworkin said. “It’s exciting to see progress in making the fundamental molecules of biology from space.”

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