The building blocks of human DNA have just been found in meteorites

Les briques de l'ADN humain viennent d'être trouvées sur des météorites


News material The building blocks of human DNA have just been found in meteorites

Recent research in Japan has shown that the essential elements for life existed outside of Earth and landed on our planet thanks to meteorites. This revives a very heated debate in the scientific community.

The building blocks of human life and all the other species found in meteorites

DNA is present in all cells of the living world and hosts the genetic heritage that governs each species. We are well acquainted with this representation in double helix and connected with rods, which in fact consist of the 5 nitrogenous bases.

The building blocks of human DNA have just been found in meteorites

These bases are essential for the genome and therefore for the appearance of life. We have :

  • adenine (A)
  • guanine (G)
  • cytosine (C)
  • thymine (T)
  • uracil (U), which replaces thymine in the RNA molecule

During the 20th century, several meteorites were found and began to be analyzed. In some studies, scientists had previously identified three of the letters in meteorites, but never cytosine and thymine.

In addition, it was still difficult for scientists to know whether these materials already detected in meteorites that crashed on Earth were simply the result of Earth contamination or if they had indeed arrived as such from space.

New study finds our DNA bases in meteorites and these bases will come from outside our solar system

Researchers at Hokkaido University have begun analyzing three meteorites: Murray’s 1950 meteorite in Kentucky, Murchinson’s found in 1969, and Lake Taggis’s discovery in 2000 in Canada.

And the result of this study was published in the very serious publication
Nature is final: the 5 nitrogenous bases have been officially found in their entirety, at a high level of concentration. Japanese researchers confirm that these bases are indeed of exogenous origin, ie formed in space and more precisely in interstellar medium (hence, outside our solar system).

According to the study authors, these bricks of life were created in part by photochemical reactions several billion years ago, even before the creation of our solar system. They would then have been found mixed with the constituents of the material that make up asteroid rocks.

These asteroids fell to Earth about 4 billion years ago, when the blue planet was subjected to a large wave of bombardment on another new and unstable solar system.

Now comes the big divisive debate:

  • some experts confirm that thanks to these arrivals of nitrogenous bases from space, life could be born on Earth
  • other scientists believe that our beloved planet managed to “create” life on its own without the material contribution of space

But this new study, which has just discovered the bases of our DNA in meteorites, probably reinforces the first hypothesis: that of the origin of life on Earth born of contributions from space.

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