sep 172013
 
Cosmic Factory for Making Building Blocks of Life Discovered

  Kent scientists have helped discover a ‘cosmic factory’ for producing the building blocks of life, amino acids, in research published in the journal Nature Geoscience.  The ‘Great Comet’ of 1996, Hyakutake. Image Credit: NASA The team from the University of Kent, Imperial College London, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered that when icy [continue reading]

mrt 062013
 
Evidence that Comets could have Seeded Life on Earth

  It’s among the most ancient of questions: What are the origins of life on Earth?   A new experiment simulating conditions in deep space reveals that the complex building blocks of life could have been created on icy interplanetary dust and then carried to Earth, jump-starting life. An image of Halley’s Comet taken in [continue reading]

mrt 052013
 
An Icy Cosmic Start for the Building Blocks of Life

  Using new technology at the telescope and in laboratories, researchers have discovered an important pair of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space. The discoveries indicate that some basic chemicals that are key steps on the way to life may have formed on dusty ice grains floating between the stars. The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank [continue reading]

nov 182012
 
The Hunt for Extraterrestrial Amino Acids

  The hunt for the organic molecules that create proteins and enzymes critical for life here on Earth has largely happened in sophisticated terrestrial laboratories equipped with high-tech gadgetry needed to tease out their presence in space rocks and other extraterrestrial samples. This is an example of chirality of amino acids, using hands to illustrate [continue reading]

sep 192012
 
Organics in Very Cold Regions of the Universe; Are We Alone?

  Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are creating concoctions of organics, or carbon-bearing molecules, on ice in the lab, then zapping them with lasers. Their goal: to better understand how life arose on Earth. An artist’s concept of a  very young solar system, with its swirling planet-forming disk. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle In [continue reading]

sep 022012
 
Searching for Clues of Earth’s First Life on Asteroid

  The Japanese space agency JAXA plans to land a spacecraft onto an asteroid in 2018 to search for clues of how life began on Earth. An artists rendering of Hayabusa 2 approaching the asteroid 1999 JU3. Image Credit: JAXA   Hayabusa 2 will be JAXA’s second attempt at collecting material from an asteroid, after its first [continue reading]