Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Did The 'Seeds of Space' Spawn Life Here on Earth?

Did The 'Seeds of Space' Begin Life Here on Earth?

Meteorites 'could have carried nitrogen to Earth'

By Neil Bowdler
BBC News

A meteorite found in Antarctica could lend weight to the argument that life on Earth might have been kick-started from space, scientists are claiming.

     Chemical analysis of the meteorite shows it to be rich in the gas ammonia.

It contains the element nitrogen, found in the proteins and DNA that form the basis of life as we know it.

Meteorites could have showered the Earth with an attractive mix of components, including a large amount of ammonia”

Professor Sandra Pizzarello Arizona State University

The researchers say meteorites like this could have showered the early Earth, providing the missing ingredients for life.

Details of the study by researchers at Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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