Everything old is new again:
Scientists have mostly looked for clues on Earth. Yet a new discovery suggests that the answer could be found beyond the sky, inside dark interstellar clouds.
Last month in Nature Astronomy, a group of astrobiologists showed that peptides, the molecular subunits of proteins, can spontaneously form on the solid, frozen particles of cosmic dust drifting through the universe. Those peptides could in theory have traveled inside comets and meteorites to the young Earth — and to other worlds — to become some of the starting materials for life.Yasemin Saplakoglu, “Peptides on Stardust May Have Provided a Shortcut to Life” at Quanta (March 8, 2022)
The paper is open access.
One hears competitive cheerleading squads in the background: Proteins first! DNA first! Membrane first! RNA first! RNA + DNA first!
Now we are back to Proteins first!
It’s comforting to spend time in an environment where nothing much changes. Peptide world, for example, is just SO 2013…