Scientists Discover Cosmic Factory for Making Building Blocks of Life

Comet Hartley 2
Comet Hartley 2
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Since, we have started class we have not been able to discuss many topics in class, besides basic chemistry, however I wanted to share my insight anyway. I read an article recently that tells how the four basic building blocks of life, which are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, might have come to Earth. I thought that this was incredibly fascinating, because it might answer one of the universe’s big questions. The article further describes how meteors that crash into planets with a frozen surface produce carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. This is a good hypothesis that might eventually prove how life began billions of years ago when our planet was consistently hit with comets and meteors. If this is how life started on Earth then it could be repeated on other planets and moons like Enceladus and Europa. Other forms of life could possibly be just a few planets away and any other forms of life could be based form the same four substances as humans. Different steps have to be taken to go from molecules to amino acids, however, through several studies scientists at the University of Kent and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory think that they have it figured out. The shock wave, from the meteor or comet crash, and the heat pressure the molecules into converting to amino acids. They tired to recreate a comet by firing projectiles, at ice mixtures, through a cannon. The results created common amino acids.

I was excited when I learned about this discovery, because it was always one of the big unproven questions. Even though it still is up for debate I think there is a lot of evidence for this hypothesis. It is very important, because if life was created on Earth with this method then it could have happened on several other planets. I have always wanted to know if there was life somewhere else in that galaxy and since it has been disproved yet and most likely never will, this might open the door for more space research. This could also be a way for scientist to learn more about what began the other pieces of the planet, besides humans.

This connects to what is going on in class, because we just learned what the main components of a human are such as oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Anything that has to do with how humans are created or any other animal is important to the biological part of science. In class we also conversed about the scientific method and that is represented in this as the scientist who made this discovery are sharing with their colleges. I am not sure if this new evidence will be accepted as fact or as a theory, however I think I would stand by what the scientist from Kent University have been able to prove thus far. One thing I would like to see, however, is their full experiment like their materials, hypothesis, variables, and conclusion. The variables they chose and how they controlled them, while being relevant to what we are learning in class, would also be extremely interesting to see. The scientist would have to be sure to not control only one variable, because in a case that could be monumental to how humans see ourselves and other planets, it would be unfortunate to make a mistake.


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