A new piece of evidence suggests that asteroids may have been responsible for kickstarting life on planet Earth billions of years ago.
According to NASA scientists, they have analyzed meteorites that have fallen onto Earth and discovered that they carried sugars fundamental to kickstarting early forms of life.
Since meteorites are now proven to be able to carry sugars so may asteroids, their parent objects that have a long history with our planet.
“The sugar in DNA (2-deoxyribose) was not detected in any of the meteorites analyzed in this study. This is important since there could have been a delivery bias of extraterrestrial ribose to the early Earth which is consistent with the hypothesis that RNA evolved first,” NASA Goddard study’s co-author Danny Glavin said.
Among the discovered sugars were lyxose, xylose, arabinose, and ribose which formed due to chemical reactions that occurred in outer space.
Particularly important is ribose which is one of the primary builders of RNA and is known as an essential agent in the creation of biological life.
On top of the sugars, the scientists have also come across amino acids which represent fundamental building blocks of early life forms.
According to the researchers, the analysis revealed that sugars and amino acids found are definitely from outer space and weren’t picked up on contact with Earth.
In the future, scientists intend to use the data gathered to further explore the theory that life on Earth originated in space.
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