Polski
русский
Українська

Probable source of origin of a key molecule for life is found

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Key molecule may have formed in the cold of space and then accidentally landed on Earth

A key molecule for life, carbamic acid, could have been formed in the cold, distant expanses of space, alongside nascent stars and planets. It probably originated from reactions on pieces of ice in deep space.

This is stated in a study published in the journal ACS Central Science. Scientists suspect that these blocks of life could have been brought to our planet by meteorites or asteroids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, making them critical to the formation of life on Earth. Over the past decades, several organic molecules, such as carbonic acid, have been spotted in space, so it's no surprise that the theory that the source of life on Earth originated in space was becoming more and more powerful. However, there was a problem - no one understood how these molecules were formed.

Now, a study by Ralph Kaiser of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and his colleagues has found that a key amino acid called carbamic acid may have formed as a result of reactions on pieces of ice in deep space.

Carbamic acid is a precursor to more complex compounds found naturally in various enzymes.

To study whether it could indeed be formed in the extremely cold conditions of space, the scientists placed the reagents that form this acid - carbon dioxide and ammonia - in a refrigerator, where the temperature can drop to minus 268°C.

The researchers then found that when the temperature gradually increased to minus 211°C, carbon dioxide and ammonia reacted to form carbamic acid. Subsequently, they also found that ammonium carbamate, a salt that helps process urea, is formed at minus 234°C, adding to the belief that the building blocks of life could have come to Earth from space.

Kaiser noted that the conditions reproduced in the study are similar to those observed in molecular clouds around young stars and planets. This suggests that urea and ammonium carbamate first appeared on ice in these regions.

"Ultimately, they may be incorporated into meteorites or asteroids that will bring these compounds to our solar system or other solar systems," the scientist said.

Kaiser expressed hope that the results of the study will encourage other astronomers to search for the amino acid in space. Its discovery could help humanity predict where life could have formed, or even has formed.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported that NASA's telescope saw the oldest supernovae that could reveal the cosmic origin of humans.

Subscribe to OBOZ.UA channels in Telegram and Viber to keep up with the latest events.

Other News

5 shoe models that go well with pants: spring 2024 trends

5 shoe models that go well with pants: spring 2024 trends

Go for classic Gucci loafers and chunky Prada-inspired ones
Russia suspends use of A-50 aircraft near border after two losses – British intelligence

Russia suspends use of A-50 aircraft near border after two losses – British intelligence

Russian army to look for ways to compensate for loss of A-50
Power substation supplying three military plants explodes in Russia

Power substation supplying three military plants explodes in Russia

Propagandists invented a legend about a bomb