Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Life’s Building Blocks May Have Formed in Interstellar Clouds

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


An experiment shows that one of the basic units of life­­­ — nucleobases — could have originated within giant gas clouds interspersed between the stars.

An inside look of an ultra high vacuum reaction chamber that simulates chemical reactions in an interstellar cloud environment.

 Credit: Hokkaido University

An inside look of an ultra high vacuum reaction chamber that simulates chemical reactions in an interstellar cloud environment.

Essential building blocks of DNA – compounds called nucleobases – have been detected for the first time in a simulated environment mimicking gaseous clouds that are found interspersed between stars. The finding, published in the journal Nature Communications, brings us closer to understanding the origins of life on Earth.

“This result could be key to unravelling fundamental questions for humankind, such as what organic compounds existed during the formation of the solar system and how they contributed to the birth of life on Earth,” says Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University’s Institute of Low Temperature Science.

Scientists have already detected some of the basic organic molecules necessary for the beginnings of life in comets, asteroids, and in interstellar molecular clouds: giant gaseous clouds dispersed between stars. It is thought that these molecules could have reached Earth through meteorite impacts some four billion years ago, providing key ingredients for the chemical cocktail that gave rise to life. Learning how these molecules formed is vital to understanding the origins of life.

The basic structural unit of DNA and RNA is called a nucleotide and is composed of a nucleobase, a sugar, and a phosphate group. Previous studies mimicking the expected conditions in interstellar molecular clouds have detected the presence of sugar and phosphate, but not of nucleobases.

Pictured in this image by ESA’s Herschel observatory is the Orion B molecular cloud, a vast star-forming complex in the constellation Orion, the Hunter.
Credit: ESA/Herschel/NASA/JPL-Caltech; acknowledgement: R. Hurt (JPL-Caltech)

Now, Yasuhiro Oba and colleagues at Hokkaido University, Kyushu University, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) have used advanced analytical methods to detect the fundamental nucleobases in a simulated interstellar cloud environment.

The team conducted their experiments in an ultra-high vacuum reaction chamber. A gaseous mixture of water, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and methanol was continuously supplied onto a cosmic-dust analogue at a temperature of -263° Celsius. Two deuterium discharge lamps attached to the chamber supplied vacuum ultraviolet light to induce chemical reactions. The process led to the formation of an icy film on the dust analogue inside the chamber.

The team used a high-resolution mass spectrometer and a high-performance liquid chromatograph to analyse the product that formed on the substrate after warming it to room temperature. Recent advances in these technological tools allowed them to detect the presence of the nucleobases cytosine, uracil, thymine, adenine, xanthine, and hypoxanthine. They also detected amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and several kinds of dipeptide, or a dimer of amino acid, in the same product.

The fundamental nucleobases detected in a simulated interstellar cloud environment.

Credit: Hokkaido University

The team suspects that past experiments simulating interstellar molecular cloud environments would have produced nucleobases, but that the analytical tools used were not sensitive enough to detect them in complex mixtures.

Akira Kouchi (left), Yasuhiro Oba (center), and Naoki Watanabe (right) of the research team at Hokkaido University’s Institute of Low Temperature Science.


Credit: Hokkaido University

“Our findings suggest that the processes we reproduced could lead to the formation of the molecular precursors of life,” says Yasuhiro Oba. “The results could improve our understanding of the early stages of chemical evolution in space.”

Contacts and sources:
Naoki Namba
Hokkaido University

Assistant Professor Yasuhiro Oba
Institute of Low Temperature Science
Hokkaido University

 

Citation: Nucleobase synthesis in interstellar ices.
Yasuhiro Oba, Yoshinori Takano, Hiroshi Naraoka, Naoki Watanabe, Akira Kouchi. Nature Communications, 2019; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12404-1

 



Source:

Support BeforeitsNews by trying our natural health products! Join our affiliate program
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at www.mitocopper.com


Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver!  Destroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens with Oxygen plus Silver!Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!  
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)


FINAL WARNING!   Diseases are EXPLODING!  Watch this Video about APeX and You'll THROW AWAY Your Colloidal Silver!   APeX destroys Viruses, Bacteria and other Pathogens with the power of Oxygen PLUS Silver!  Nobody else has a product like THIS!   See why the inventor hasn't been sick in 16 years and why you'll never hear about it on the FAKE NEWS!  Get some now and tell your friends about it too so we can reach more people!  

APeX Interview - Superior to Colloidal Silver from Lee Canady on Vimeo.

Learn about APeX Here and Get the 50 Page Report in PDF format.   Call us at 888-809-8385 to order by phone.

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

MOST RECENT
Load more ...

SignUp

Login

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.