Recently, sugar discovered in meteorites for first time. This discovery may indicate that chemical reactions within asteroids (the parent bodies of many meteorites) can create some of the building blocks of life. Asteroid impacts on ancient Earth may have been important to the origin of life, providing a way to explore the origins of humankind. New possibilities.
According to NASA reports, researchers from NASA, Tohoku University and other institutions have discovered ribose and other biologically necessary sugars (arabinose and xylose) in two carbon-rich meteorites. Ribose is an important component of ribonucleic acid (RNA). In modern life, RNA acts as a messenger molecule, copying genetic instructions from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules and then passing them on to molecular factories inside the cell called ribosomes, which read the RNA and build the components needed to carry out life’s processes.
The team discovered these sugars using a gas chromatography mass spectrometer to analyze powdered samples of meteorites. This mass spectrometer classifies and identifies molecules by their mass and charge. The researchers also determined that the meteorites were not contaminated with earthly material and that the sugars detected came from space. The team also plans to analyze more meteorites to better understand the abundance of extraterrestrial sugars.