Sugar rocks found in space show origin of life on earth
For the first time ever, an international team has found sugars essential to life in meteorites. This supports the theory that chemical reactions in asteroids can make some of life’s ingredients.
If correct, meteorite bombardment on ancient Earth may have assisted the origin of life with a supply of life’s building blocks, according to NASA.
The research provides the first direct evidence of ribose (sugar content) in space and the delivery of the sugar to Earth.
The extraterrestrial sugar might have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic Earth which possibly led to the origin of life.
The team discovered ribose and other bio-essential sugars including arabinose and xylose in two different meteorites that are rich in carbon — NWA 801 and Murchison.
Ribose is a crucial component of RNA (ribonucleic acid).
Meteors are bits of rocks and ice ejected from comets as they move in their orbits about the sun. A meteor that reaches the ground is called a meteorite.