Evidence shows meteors sowed the seeds of life

March 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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