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Fragments of the meteorite Tagish Lake are being preserved in a frozen state, which holds critical types of DNA and RNA components.
Researchers used ultra-high-resolution technology to classify the vital building blocks of DNA and RNA in meteorites, involving those that were missing in previous studies.
The Panspermia Theory
The theory that the elements that make up life come to earth attached to a meteorite has developed a more believable story.
This breakthrough gives more belief to the theory of panspermia. Moreover, it means that the building blocks for life might be soaring about in space. Preparing to impact a new world found in the correct conditions may give this theory life.
Panspermia once was not a hypothesis that was taken seriously, although the further scientists dig space specimens, this theory seems a lot less crazy.
DNA and RNA Genetics and Panspermia
RNA and DNA genetics make up life, as far as we know. Essentially, we are made up of five organic molecules. They are called guanine, uracil cytosine, thymine and adenine. These molecules can be put into one of two categories of nucleobases.
There is also a category called purines, a chemical compound that includes adenine and guanine found previously in meteorites that impacted the earth.
RNA and DNA can’t develop (life cannot be formed) without having the other type of nucleobase, and it contains a more considerable and much more complex structure: Pyrimidines. The pyrimidines category includes cytosine, thymine, and uracil.
Finding Pyrimidines in Meteorites
Pyrimidines hadn’t been found in a meteorite sample in more significant concentrations until now.
Yasuhiro Oba led a team of researchers from Japan’s Hokkaido University and used the latest technology in high-res mass spectroscopy as well as analytical techniques, which are used to detect minuscule amounts of nucleobases through three different carbon-rich meteorites samples.
The researchers isolated several pyrimidine nucleobases that were missing in previous studies.
Searching Space for Alien Life
Oba and his researchers wrote, “These molecules were present in concentrations close to those hypothesized by the experiments that replicated the conditions that existed before the formation of our solar system.”
These new findings overwhelmingly support the once laughed at panspermia hypothesis.
Furthermore, validation could come soon when researchers can scan samples from other major asteroids, Bennu and Ryugu, by spacecraft created by NASA and Japan’s space agency JAXA. This gives new life to the panspermia theory.