Jump to content



Photo

Building Block for Life Found in Mars Meteorite

mars meteorite life antarctica rna

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Crisp

Crisp

    To infinity and beyond

  • 5,415 posts
  • Joined: 06-May 10
  • Location: 127.0.0.1

Posted 17 June 2013 - 15:24

Building Block for Life Found in Mars Meteorite

 

mars-meteorite-life-670x440-130617.jpg

 

Scientists have found a potential building block for life in a Martian meteorite recovered from Antarctica.

 

Parts of the rock contain rich concentrations of boron, which biochemists suspect played a key role in the development of ribonucleic acid, or RNA.

 

“I had read how important boron could have been in the origins of life, stabilizing a part of RNA,” biologist James Stephenson, with the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaii told Discovery News.

 

RNA is a biological molecule, which scientists believe was the stepping stone for life on Earth. It, like deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which evolved later, can store and transmit information to cells.

 

RNA is comprised of three basic components: phosphate, a ribose, which is a five-carbon sugar, and a nucleobase. Both phosphates and nucleobases have been found in meteorites previously. Ribose has never been found beyond Earth.

 

“Of the three parts that make RNA, the ribose is the tricky part. We haven’t been able to explain how it could form naturally,” Stephenson said.

 

 

Source and more




#2 spacer

spacer

    I'm awesome

  • 6,427 posts
  • Joined: 09-November 06
  • Location: Connecticut, USA
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Phone: Nexus 4

Posted 17 June 2013 - 15:48

A cool discovery. I'd be willing to bet that Mars did have life at some point, so it's neat that we have evidence it was highly likely.

 

But, how do these scientists know the meteorite, found on Earth, is from Mars?



#3 Dot Matrix

Dot Matrix

    Neowinian Senior

  • 10,136 posts
  • Joined: 14-November 11
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 17 June 2013 - 15:56

A cool discovery. I'd be willing to bet that Mars did have life at some point, so it's neat that we have evidence it was highly likely.

 

But, how do these scientists know the meteorite, found on Earth, is from Mars?

Composition.



#4 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 17 June 2013 - 15:58

A cool discovery. I'd be willing to bet that Mars did have life at some point, so it's neat that we have evidence it was highly likely.

 

 

I suspect it did too. I just wish we could find evidence of it. 



#5 Dot Matrix

Dot Matrix

    Neowinian Senior

  • 10,136 posts
  • Joined: 14-November 11
  • Location: Upstate New York
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 17 June 2013 - 17:13

I suspect it did too. I just wish we could find evidence of it. 

I feel we already have, just nothing we can call conclusive.



#6 Tuishimi

Tuishimi

    Michinator

  • 843 posts
  • Joined: 19-November 10
  • OS: Windows 8

Posted 17 June 2013 - 17:29

It never supported life... I'd be willing to bet on that.  The "building blocks of life" are everywhere in the universe.  Boron?  I would suspect we might find it throughout the solar system as it is produced in general space from colliding cosmic rays and other, lighter forms of matter.  Not sure why that is suddenly such a big deal, except to sensationalize and continue interest in the possibilities of life on Mars.  Then again, imagining such things IS fun.





Click here to login or here to register to remove this ad, it's free!