Tech & Science : Scientists Find Sugar In Meteorites, Now Let Me Lick Them - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Scientists Find Sugar In Meteorites, Now Let Me Lick Them

23:22  21 november  2019
23:22  21 november  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

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An international team has found sugars essential to life in meteorites . The new discovery adds to the growing The team discovered the sugars by analyzing powdered samples of the meteorites using gas chromatography Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email.

Scientists have previously found other biomolecules in meteorites , including amino acids, which form proteins, and nucleobases, the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Scientists hope to gain additional insights into life's origins as they probe other meteorite samples for evidence of sugar 's abundance.

a close up of a banana: A scientist analysing a fragment of the Murchison meteorite. (Photo: United States Department of Energy, <a href= © Provided by Pedestrian TV Group Pty Ltd A scientist analysing a fragment of the Murchison meteorite. (Photo: United States Department of Energy, Wikimedia Commons)" out-link" src="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murchison_meteorite#/media/File:Murchison-meteorite-ANL.jpg">Wikimedia Commons">

Researchers found evidence of sugar molecules in primitive meteorites, according to a new study. Now, if you please, I would like to taste the rocks.

Yes, I understand that sugar is a family of molecules that consists of more than just the sucrose molecules I use to make my coffee a little more exciting. In fact, ribose, one of the sugar molecules found on these rocks, is an essential biological molecule that serves as a building block of genetic material. I don’t care. Let me lick it.

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NASA says that they 've found the first evidence of sugars on meteorite specimens which adds to a growing body of evidence that their parent objects, Asteroids NASA says three meteorites were found to contain several types of sugar . Among them was ribose which is the key ingredient of RNA.

Scientists think they found pieces of a meteor that fell into the Pacific Ocean in March. NASA scientist Dr. Marc Fries examines early sample returns attached to a magnetic board used in the search for meteorite pieces in the ocean.

The researchers based in Japan and the United States analysed three carbon-containing meteorites called chondrites, thought to be among the meteorites that have changed the least since the start of the solar system. That included the Murchison meteorite, one of the most-studied meteorites on Earth, a 100 kilogram+ rock that fell in Australia in 1969. They analysed samples of these meteorites in the laboratory for sugars, finding at least four kinds of sugar molecules: ribose, arabinose, xylose and lyxose. A quick Google search reveals that all four of these molecules have pleasant, sweet tastes.

Then, they measured the fraction of carbon-13, a slightly heavier version of carbon, that the molecules contained. In some of the samples, there was extra carbon-13, more than would be expected from molecules found in the dirt or plants, demonstrating that the molecules could have been of extraterrestrial origin. The researchers published their results this week in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

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Sweet Meteorites . Scientists have discovered sugars in a meteorite , adding to the list of complex organic molecules that have been found inside space rocks. Dr. George Cooper and co-workers from the NASA Ames Research Center found the sugary compounds in two carbon-rich (or

" Meteorites fall anywhere, but they are easiest to spot where there are few terrestrial rocks," said Alan Rubin, a geochemist at the University of California Furthermore, when a newly fallen meteorite can be matched with the trajectory of the meteor that deposited it, this enables scientists to determine

Most people value ribose for reasons aside from its flavour: It forms the backbone of ribonucleic acid, or RNA, the genetic material used by our cells to produce the proteins that make us who we are. Finding ribose in the oldest meteorites provides extra evidence that we’re star stuff; that the molecules that produced us could have formed in the earliest days of the solar system. Scientists think these sugars form via a “formose-like reaction,” which turns a class of molecules called aldehydes into sugars in the presence of heat and alkaline molecules.

Sugars join a variety of other organic molecules found in carbonaceous chondrites, including the amino acids that produce proteins and the nucleobase molecules that RNA uses to encode data. It seems as though you could construct an entire RNA molecule from stuff found in these meteorites.

Back to my main point. I understand there is only a trace amount of sugar in these meteorites. But I know that geologists lick rocks all the time. And now this study has planted the seed in my mind that meteorites might be a real flavour bomb; amino acids have a variety of flavours, from sour to savoury. Add in all of these sugars, and you’ve practically got a gourmet meal. Let me taste the space rocks.

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