Life from Space

11 Aug 2011

At ... the headline reads, 'DNA building blocks can be made in space, NASA evidence suggests' while at it is 'Meteorites Tool kits for creating life on earth' and the same story appears all over the blogosphere, even at - which has some interesting comments including one that simply says this is a bit more information to confirm an already existing hypothesis. However, it is not a generally accepted hypothesis - but now that NASA has taken it up it may well become the mainstream view. The discovery of components of DNA (not DNA itself) in meteorites over the last 50 years has generally been viewed with scepticism (as new ideas invariably are), the consensus preferred being that meteorites became contaminated by terrestrial life. However, tests in recent years have indicated an origin in space for them (see the paper in PNAS, August 2011). In addition, amino acids have been found in samples of Comet Wild2 taken by the Stardust Mission. Amino acids are a part of the proteins in the molecules of life and appear in everything, from hair to enzymes. NASA is saying that amino acids in meteorites originate in space, molecules that carry the genetic instructions for life. The theory is that a kit of ready made parts (of life) came from space and assisted in the origin of life on earth.