Hitchhiking molecules could have survived fiery comet collisions with Earth, UC Berkeley experiment shows

Simulating a high-velocity comet collision with Earth, a team of scientists has shown that organic molecules hitchhiking aboard a comet could have survived such an impact and seeded life on this planet.

The results give credence to the theory that the raw materials for life came from space and were assembled on Earth into the ancestors of proteins and DNA.

"Our results suggest that the notion of organic compounds coming from outer space can't be ruled out because of the severity of the impact event," said research geologist Jennifer G. Blank of the Department of Earth and Planetary Science in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Blank and her colleagues Randy Winans and Mike Ahrens of the Chemistry Division of Argonne National Laboratory, and engineer-mathematician Gregory Miller of the Applied Numerical Algorithms Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will report their preliminary findings on April 5 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, Calif. The talk is part of an April 4-5 session on extraterrestrial organic chemistry organized by Blank and colleague Max P. Bernstein, a chemist in the Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center in California.

Blank's team shot a soda-can sized bullet into a nickel-sized metal target containing a teardrop of water mixed with amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. More than seventy varieties of amino acids have been found in meteorites - many the suspected cores of comets that smashed to earth - and are presumed to exist in interstellar dust clouds.

Not only did a good fraction of the amino acids survive the simulated comet collision, but many polymerized into chains of two, three and four amino acids, so-called peptides. Peptides with longer chains are called polypeptides, while even longer ones are called proteins.

"The neat thing is that we got every possible combination o

Contact: Robert Sanders
University of California - Berkeley

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Hitchhiking bacteria could compromise the detection of life on Mars
2. Tiny molecules have big potential as cancer drugs, Stanford researcher believes
3. Synthesized molecules studied as weapon to stop cell division in cancer cells
4. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
5. Sweet success in targeting sugar molecules to cells in living animals
6. UC Riverside researcher takes snapshots of the movement of molecules in a billionth of a second
7. Scientists pinpoint molecules that generate synapses
8. Two molecules work together to aid transport of immune cells, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. Controlling biomolecules with magnetic tweezers
10. Water molecules clump more loosely than previously thought
11. Creating polymers that act like biomolecules

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 ... by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and ... banking applications are expected to drive the market ... ) , The development of advanced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Global demand for enzymes is forecast to grow ... billion.  This market includes enzymes used in industrial ... animal feed, and other markets) and specialty applications ... beverages will remain the largest market for enzymes, ... containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and other ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary ... various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: