A recently found asteroid contained organic compounds essential for organisms on our planet. A group of Japanese scientists were responsible for the discovery.
The scientists of the Japanese Space Agency found two essential organic compounds for living organisms in samples recovered from the asteroid Ryuguwhich reinforced the idea that some crucial components for life in the Land They arrived with asteroids from space billions of years ago.
The research, published in the journal Nature Communicationsdetected uracil and niacin in rocks obtained by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. Uracil is one of the chemical components of RNA, a molecule that contains the instructions for the construction and functioning of living organisms. Niacin, also called vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid, is vital for metabolism.
The Ryugu samples were transported 250,000,000 kilometers to Earth and returned to the surface of our planet in a sealed capsule that landed on Australia to be tested in Japan.
The new findings fit with the hypothesis that bodies like kites, asteroids and meteors, which bombarded the early Earth, seeded the planet with compounds that helped create the first microbes. “Our main finding is that uracil and niacin are present in alien environments“said the astrochemist Yasuhiro Obaof the hokkaido university and lead author of the research.
“We suspect that they played a role in Earth’s prebiotic evolution and possibly in the emergence of first life“, he stressed. RNA is present in all living cells, is vital in the coding, regulation and activity of genes, and has structural similarities with DNA. On the other hand, niacin is important for metabolism and can help to produce the “energy” that drives living organisms.