Evidence shows meteors sowed the seeds of lifeMarch 2nd, 2011 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS
London, March 2 (IANS) Scientists have taken fragments from a meteorite in the Antarctic and by bombarding it with heat and pressure have recreated conditions at the beginning of life as we know it, they claim.
They have found that under primordial conditions, the rock emitted ammonia, an essential compound in the production of amino acids, the so-called building blocks of life.
The researchers analysed the nitrogen atoms within the ammonia and determined that the atomic isotope did not match those currently found on Earth, eliminating the possibility of ammonia resulting from contamination during the experiment, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.
The earliest physical evidence of life on Earth in the shape of fossils dates back to 3.8 billion years, according to the Telegraph.
Nobody really knows how life started on earth but it is thought have been a freak occurrence sparked by the extreme pressure and heat mixing with chemicals from outer space.
These findings, made by Arizona State University, suggest that these chemicals came from meteorites, which seeded the Earth with the necessary chemicals, said the report.
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- Meteor hunter finds 4 billion years old asteroid fragments - Apr 27, 2012
- Life's building blocks discovered on surprising meteorite - Dec 16, 2010
- Asteroid shows power to synthesise life's essential chemicals - May 05, 2011
- Meteorite contains 'organic molecular feast', reveals analysis - Feb 16, 2010
- Where does 44 trillion watts of Earth's heat come from? - Jul 18, 2011
- Cosmic 'dandruff' could have brought carbon to Earth - May 07, 2010
- Is our atmosphere an import from outer space? - Dec 11, 2009
- Martian meteorites may help "refine the history of Mars" - Apr 16, 2010
- Did life on Earth begin in space? - Jan 20, 2011
- Sugar-grain sized meteorites 'rocked early Earth, Mars' climates' - Apr 02, 2011
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