Monday, June 16, 2008

Building blocks found in space rocks

A sceintific team led by Zita Martins of the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London reports it has found precursors to DNA and RNA in a meteorite. The molecules involved, uracil and xanthine, were found in a meteorite that landed in Australia in 1969. It does not prove molecules from space were crucial to life on Earth - they may have formed here independently - but it does show how widespread life-related compunds may be in the vast spaces between worlds.

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