Origin Of Life Solar system formation

From EurekAlert: Meteorites plus gamma rays could have given Earth the building blocks for life

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Even as detailed images of distant galaxies from the James Webb Space Telescope show us more of the greater universe, scientists still disagree about how life began here on Earth. One hypothesis is that meteorites delivered amino acids — life’s building blocks — to our planet. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have experimentally shown that amino acids could have formed in these early meteorites from reactions driven by gamma rays produced inside the space rocks.

Ever since Earth was a newly formed, sterile planet, meteorites have been hurtling through the atmosphere at high speeds toward its surface. If the initial space debris had included carbonaceous chondrites — a class of meteorite whose members contain significant amounts of water and small molecules, such as amino acids — then it could have contributed to the evolution of life on Earth. However, the source of amino acids in meteorites has been hard to pinpoint. In previous lab experiments, Yoko Kebukawa and colleagues showed that reactions between simple molecules, such as ammonia and formaldehyde, can synthesize amino acids and other macromolecules, but liquid water and heat are required. Radioactive elements, such as aluminum-26 (26Al) — which is known to have existed in early carbonaceous chondrites — release gamma rays, a form of high-energy radiation, when they decay. This process could have provided the heat needed to make biomolecules. So, Kebukawa and a new team wanted to see whether radiation could have contributed to the formation of amino acids in early meteorites.

The researchers dissolved formaldehyde and ammonia in water, sealed the solution in glass tubes and then irradiated the tubes with high-energy gamma rays produced from the decay of cobalt-60. They found that the production of α-amino acids, such as alanine, glycine, α-aminobutyric acid and glutamic acid, and β-amino acids, such as β-alanine and β-aminoisobutyric acid, rose in the irradiated solutions as the total gamma-ray dose increased. Based on these results and the expected gamma ray dose from the decay of 26Al in meteorites, the researchers estimated that it would have taken between 1,000 and 100,000 years to produce the amount of alanine and β-alanine found in the Murchison meteorite, which landed in Australia in 1969. This study provides evidence that gamma ray-catalyzed reactions can produce amino acids, possibly contributing to the origin of life on Earth, the researchers say.

EurekAlert!

13 Replies to “From EurekAlert: Meteorites plus gamma rays could have given Earth the building blocks for life

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    Seversky

    you see ? what did i tell you ?

    You guys seriously believe in spontaneous generation :)))))))

    Shining light (x-rays) + space debris = A plant :)))))))))

    You guys can’t be normal :))))))

    PS: The only reason you personally no longer buy this stuff, is because you got schooled here on UD.

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    I always thought, that this sort of radiation is lethal … like i said, these guys can’t be normal … one day it creates life, the other day it destroys life …

    NASA:

    “The marine life of the Ordovician fell victim to a mass extinction, the cause of which might have been a gamma ray burst.

    https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/news/how-deadly-would-a-nearby-gamma-ray-burst-be/

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    It could be said that a protein becomes a protein when a string of amino acid residues longer than, say, 50, amino acid residues are folded. There is no life without proteins.
    A standard Rubik’s cube has 27 small cubes and the number of possible arrangements is 43 quintillion. Rubik’s Revenge has 56 small cubes and the number of possible arrangements is over 7,000 septillions – and 56 residues are just enough to get roughly the smallest protein. However, a string can easily have 150 amino acid residues to fold into shape.
    The Levinthal Paradox, as it is called, states generally that even if a string of amino acid residues randomly fold upon fold at the rate once every billionth of a second, the universe is not old enough to luck into the first protein.
    The Levinthal Paradox is now over 50 years old and no solution has been found.
    And that is just for starters – left handed residues are needed to form proteins and when they are formed naturally a 50/50, racemic, mix is the result. The celebrated Miller experiment was racemic.
    Amino acids don’t have to travel from outer space, earth can make them naturally, what it can’t do is fold them into proteins that fit other proteins before the universe dies a heat death.

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    Pure 100% garbage. And if scientists know what the “building blocks of life” are, why haven’t they created life in the lab?

  5. 5
    Latemarch says:

    Relatd @4
    “why haven’t they created life in the lab?”

    And if they somehow managed do it. They will only have proved Intelligent Design.

    The “building blocks = life” assertion is much like the “water = life” assertion. Just because something is necessary doesn’t mean that it’s sufficient.

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    Well, I am hearing a lot about “We found some chemical essential for life in some planet’s atmosphere, so life.” That’s not science. But the clear implication is that life exists ‘out there’ with no evidence to say so in the first place.

  7. 7
    AaronS1978 says:

    Martin_r

    I got hit by gamma rays and I turned green and muscular, so maybe it could produce a plant

  8. 8
    relatd says:

    AS1978 at 7,

    I got hit by gamma rays and turned into a large, orange humanoid.

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ Relatd
    Well I guess that’s a……..”Thing”

    https://tenor.com/MG7f.gif

  10. 10
    martin_r says:

    Aaron @7

    you know why I have mentioned a plant ?

    The other day, I have debated Seversky … I sent him a link, where MIT physicist Jeremy England claims (this is not a joke):

    You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.

    These people are not normal … that is for sure ….

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122/

  11. 11
    JVL says:

    Belfast: A standard Rubik’s cube has 27 small cubes

    Are you sure about that? The interior cubes do not exist, the interior is taken up by the mechanism which allows the ‘user’ to rearrange the surface bits. Some of the surface bits aren’t cubes either. In fact, none of the bits that you can see are complete cubes.

  12. 12
    AaronS1978 says:

    @Martin_r

    I figured, but I couldn’t pass up that low hang fruit for a hulk joke, followed by Relatd and the ever loving Thing

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    Martin_r/10

    The other day, I have debated Seversky … I sent him a link, where MIT physicist Jeremy England claims (this is not a joke):

    You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.

    Obviously that is speculative but even that puts it a step more than whatever is known of – or even proposed for – the process used by the Creator or Intelligent Designer which is best described by “poof!”.

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