So, this is kinda wild: scientists at NASA have uncovered new evidence that DNA components found in meteorites can originate in space, lending new credence to the theory that life on Earth may have arisen from a pre-existing "kit" of materials delivered via asteroid. The discovery is outlined in a new paper from Dr. Michael Callahan, whose team of researchers closely analyzed samples from 12 different meteorites, using a mass spectrometer and liquid chromatography. In their samples, they found traces of adenine, guanine, and a variety of molecules known as nucleobase analogs -- including three that are rarely found on Earth. Scientists have long known that meteorites can contain DNA elements, but were unsure whether these materials actually originate in space. The presence of these three molecules, however, suggest that they do, potentially raising new questions about the dawn of life on Earth, and beyond. It's all quite heady, but steam ahead for a NASA video that might help clarify things, after the break.
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