June 2, 2023

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Elements of life on Earth came from outside.. Space models reveal

It came to earth billions of years ago from outer space on the back of rocks

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Two organic elements necessary for life have been found in samples brought back from the asteroid Diogo, a discovery that supports the idea that some of the elements necessary for the origin of life came to Earth billions of years ago from space on the back of rocks.

The Japan Space Agency’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft detected the presence of uracil and niacin in rocks retrieved from two sites on the asteroid Diogo in 2019, scientists said Tuesday.

Uracil is the chemical component of RNA, a molecule that directs how organisms develop and function. Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is essential for metabolism.

The Diogo samples, which look like dark gray debris, were transported 250 million kilometers to Earth and returned to the surface of our planet in a sealed space capsule that landed in a remote part of Australia in 2020. Japan analyzed.

Scientists have long wondered about the conditions necessary for life to appear after Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago. The new findings are consistent with the hypothesis that bodies such as comets, asteroids and meteorites fell on Earth like bombs, which in the early stages of their lives filled the newly formed planet with chemical compounds that paved the way for the first appearance. Microorganisms.

Globe Image – iStock

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Meteorites are rich in carbon

Scientists previously discovered important organic molecules in carbon-rich meteorites found on Earth. However, the question remained whether these space rocks were contaminated with these particles by exposure to the Earth’s environment after landing on Earth.

“Our main finding is that both uracil and niacin are very important, certainly in space environments, and may have come to Earth early in the formation of asteroids and meteorites, which predate life on Earth and the emergence of life on Earth ( may play a role) played a role, we think.

Upa is the lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

brought to earth

Oba added, “These particles were brought from Diogo in their pure space state… They were collected directly on Diogo and then brought to Earth, and finally to the laboratories, without revealing any terrestrial contaminants.”

The researchers extracted uracil, niacin and a few other organic compounds from Diogo’s samples and analyzed them to separate them into their original components.

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