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Protein found inside a meteorite


A small hemolithin protein made up mostly of glycine and amino acids:

It also had oxygen, lithium and iron atoms at its ends—an arrangement never seen before. The team’s paper has not yet been peer reviewed, but once the findings are confirmed, their discovery will add another piece to the puzzle that surrounds the development of life on Earth. Proteins are considered to be essential building blocks for the development of living things, and finding one on a meteorite bolsters theories that suggest either life, or something very close to it, came to Earth from elsewhere in space.

Proteins are considered by chemists to be quite complex, which means a lot of things would have to happen by chance for protein formation. For hemolithin to have formed naturally in the configuration found would require glycine to form first, perhaps on the surface of grains of space dust. After that, heat by way of molecular clouds might have induced units of glycine to begin linking into polymer chains, which at some point, could evolve into fully formed proteins. The researchers note that the atom groupings on the tips of the protein form an iron oxide that has been seen in prior research to absorb photons—a means of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, thereby producing an energy source that would also be necessary for the development of life.

Bob Yirka, “Protein discovered inside a meteorite” at Phys.org

But then what are the chances that some of this stuff came from Earth in the first place? If there is indeed a road, the traffic might be going both ways.

See also: Physicist Rob Sheldon Thinks Extraterrestrial Origin Of Life Is Unfairly Dismissed

Given that it is a, "meteorite that was found in Algeria back in 1990", what are the chances that this "protein" is contamination of some sort? Fasteddious
BA77: The third to the last sentence in your post says:
The results of the analysis don’t necessarily mean that the compound the researchers claim is in the meteorite really is there, he says. Instead, he says they are extrapolating from incomplete data.
I looked the paper over and I had the same impression. I was not impressed with their experimental techniques and the promotion of what they found to the level of a protein, I believe, goes too far. They've basically found, at most, a very short string of glycines. PaV
,,, exobiologist and chemist Jeffrey Bada expressed concerns about the possible protein discovery commenting, "The main problem is the occurrence of hydroxyglycine, which, to my knowledge, has never before been reported in meteorites or in prebiotic experiments. Nor is it found in any proteins. ... Thus, this amino acid is a strange one to find in a meteorite, and I am highly suspicious of the results."[11] Although some scientists seem supportive of the study, other scientists may be less so.[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemolithin#Structure Have we really found an alien protein inside a meteorite? - 3 March 2020 Excerpt: We know that amino acids, which are organic compounds that act as the building blocks of life, can form on meteors and other space rocks. But the extent of prebiotic chemistry beyond Earth is still unknown, and how that chemistry turns into life is even more mysterious.,,, “If we could find a protein in a meteorite that wasn’t from Earth, then that would be amazing,” says Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow in the UK – but he doesn’t think that is the case here. The results of the analysis don’t necessarily mean that the compound the researchers claim is in the meteorite really is there, he says. Instead, he says they are extrapolating from incomplete data. The protein they claim to have found is also unlikely to occur in nature, he says. “The structure makes no sense.” https://www.newscientist.com/article/2235981-have-we-really-found-an-alien-protein-inside-a-meteorite/

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