NASA scientists have found the presence of sugar in the meteorites that crashed into the Earth’s surface billions of years ago. According to the researchers, the latest findings can help look for more evidence of life in asteroids and justify that they help life ingredients.
According to the statement released by NASA on November 20, a team of scientists has been able to discover ‘bio-essential’ sugars in the meteorites, which consists of other biologically important compounds. According to the theory of NASA scientists, the chemical reactions which occur within the asteroids can help in forming elements that are essential for sustaining life. The press release read, “The new discovery adds to the growing list of biologically important compounds that have been found in meteorites, supporting the hypothesis that chemical reactions in asteroids – the parent bodies of many meteorites – can make some of life’s ingredients.”
Sweet, sweet science! Sugars essential to life have been discovered in meteorites for the 1st time, adding to the list of biologically important compounds these objects carry & giving clues to life's origin. More: https://t.co/ze1jBBd79e pic.twitter.com/7yD7NKlgnq— NASA (@NASA) November 20, 2019
NASA reported that the team of scientists discovered ribose and other essential sugars like arabinose and xylose in two different meteorites which contain huge amounts of carbon called NWA 801 (type CR2) and Murchison (type CM2). As we know that Ribose is a form of sugar that is essential for the formation of RNA (ribonucleic acid) which acts as a messenger molecule to copy genetic information from DNA.
In another study published on November 19 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists tested three meteorites which included “one that landed in Australia in 1969”. This time the scientists used hydrochloric acid and water for the extraction of sugars. Jason Dworkin, a co-author of the study at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said, “It is remarkable that a molecule as fragile as ribose could be detected in such ancient material,”.