Building Block of Life Found on Comet

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

comet

This, is very cool. It looks increasingly like the origin of life on earth (and probably elsewhere too) has a scientific explanation and nothing whatsoever to do with God or the Bible.

The amino acid glycine, a fundamental building block of proteins, has been found in a comet for the first time, bolstering the theory that raw ingredients of life arrived on Earth from outer space, scientists said on Monday.

The latest findings add credence to the notion that extraterrestrial objects such as meteorites and comets may have seeded ancient Earth, and other planets, with the raw materials of life that formed elsewhere in the cosmos.

Microscopic traces of glycine were discovered in a sample of particles retrieved from the tail of comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust deep in the solar system some 242 million miles (390 million km) from Earth, in January 2004.

Samples of gas and dust collected on a small dish lined with a super-fluffy material called aerogel were returned to Earth two years later in a canister that detached from the spacecraft and landed by parachute in the Utah desert.

Comets like Wild 2, named for astronomer Paul Wild (pronounced Vild), are believed to contain well-preserved grains of material dating from the dawn of the solar system billions of years ago, and thus clues to the formation of the sun and planets.

The initial detection of glycine, the most common of 20 amino acids in proteins on Earth, was reported last year, but it took time for scientists to confirm that the compound in question was extraterrestrial in origin.

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6 Responses to Building Block of Life Found on Comet

  1. anonymous says:

    “It looks increasingly like the origin of life on earth (and probably elsewhere too) has a scientific explanation and nothing whatsoever to do with God or the Bible.”

    What a surprise.

  2. Harry says:

    You mean Adam and Eve are actually from Paduka?

  3. “It looks increasingly like the origin of life on earth (and probably elsewhere too) has a scientific explanation and nothing whatsoever to do with God or the Bible.”

    Those two things aren’t necessarily exclusive.

  4. Woodcliffe says:

    No one has ever really explained how suddenly life took hold on earth and started to grow.

    There are theories but they’re just that: theories.

    I’ve always wondered why humans look to the sky and long to travel into space. Humans tend to be adverse to inhospitable places and space is as about as inhospitable as it gets: cold, no oxygen, laced with radiation and dark. Yet, there is something in us that calls us to travel there.

    Maybe we’re just trying to get home?

  5. bradfrmphnx says:

    The answer to the origin of life and to why we exist is that we will never know the answer.

  6. BComet says:

    It also gives credence to the theory that comets were ejected from earth during the great flood.

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