Saturday, August 22, 2009

NASA Discovers Life's Building Blocks First Delivered to Earth by Meteorites and Comets

The giant molecular clouds that form the stars that fill the night sky are full of organic molecules, including carbon and other organic elements that living things are made of.

It's not at all surprising, then, that NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins -the workhorse molecules of life- and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center...........

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