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Two dust particles from the Murchison meteorite which fell to Earth in Australia in 1969.  (Source: Argonne National Laboratory, Department of Energy)
New evidence suggests that basic life really may have come from the stars.

It has long been thought that the seeds for life came to a primordial Earth from solar system leftovers crashing into the planet. These meteorites, comets, or other unknowns may have contained vital components with which budding life on Earth either assimilated or used as a catalyst to create itself. Now, in a paper to be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, European scientists claim they have evidence to prove the theory may be correct.

The group, based at Imperial College London, found some of the base building blocks for life, nucleobases, in dust from the Murchison meteorite which fell to Earth in 1969. Nucleobases, in this case uracil and xanthine, are the components that make up two of the most important parts of any Earth-bound life form, DNA and RNA.

In order to confirm that these molecules weren't from simple contamination, the researchers analyzed the individual atoms of the nucleobases. They found the carbon contained within was a heavier breed that what forms naturally on Earth. The molecules must have come from space.

Professor Mark Sephton, a co-author of the paper states “Because meteorites represent left over materials from the formation of the solar system, the key components for life -- including nucleobases -- could be widespread in the cosmos. As more and more of life’s raw materials are discovered in objects from space, the possibility of life springing forth wherever the right chemistry is present becomes more likely.”

While giving insights on how higher life may have formed on Earth, the finding may also bolster the theory that life may have once existed on a warmer, wetter Mars or a cooler, clearer Venus. NASA hopes to find evidence for such theories by analyzing the ice contained in the soil of the red wasteland that the Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on.

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Star Trek
By Believer on 6/16/2008 5:49:52 AM , Rating: 5
This so reminds me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 146.

With that archaeologist puzzle that every race is genetically linked from an age old civilization that found itself all alone in the universe and planted their DNA to be spread across the galaxies to create new life.

Maybe the story writers weren't so far off...


Revived my sci-fi romance it did.

RE: Star Trek
By LeviBeckerson on 6/16/2008 7:18:56 AM , Rating: 2
I really wanted to find a screen of Q holding the primordial ooze in his hand from the series finale for the story icon. Alas.

RE: Star Trek
By KaiserCSS on 6/16/2008 7:43:58 AM , Rating: 2
You could have just torrented it...


RE: Star Trek
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/2008 11:21:19 AM , Rating: 2
That episode was pretty weak IMO. I don't even think it had Worf scowling as he fired weapons. Or Data's whimsical pondering of humanity. Or even Picard being assimilated by some alien villains.

Meah !

RE: Star Trek
By therealnickdanger on 6/16/2008 12:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was ridiculously cheesy, but still kinda cool. When the holographic image of the "seed planter" appeared, all I could think of was the Founders from DS9... I'm sure ST Geekdom has poured over the "facts" regarding this.

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