Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Asteroid impacts may have sparked life on Earth

RATE THIS! +32
Posted in Science on 30th Dec, 2014 10:38 PM by AlexMuller

Scientists can imitate what happened in the distant past. In the new tests, they beamed a high-energy laser onto a simple chemical. Called formamide, it probably was common on Earth long before life began. Scientists beamed the laser energy onto formamide in hopes of simulating the energy that would be released when an asteroid collided with Earth.

 

In these new tests, the laser’s energy proved strong enough to form genetic fragments. They are called nucleobases (often simply called bases.) All living things contain two types of genetic molecules. One, called DNA, is shaped like a twisted ladder. Pairs of nucleobases form its rungs. The other type of genetic molecule, called RNA, also uses pairs of these bases, but they form different structures.

 
“We were looking for the simplest possible scenario in which these nucleobases could have formed,” David Nesvorný told Science News. He’s a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.
 
Why did Nesvorný and his coworkers work with formamide? The smelly liquid contains nitrogen and was likely around on early Earth. Other studies had shown that the chemical can break apart and form bases. But those studies had used other chemicals to break down the formamide. Nesvorný’s group used a laser’s energy instead. They wanted to create the conditions of an asteroid collision in the lab.
 
“These impacts of the past had enormous energy,” Nesvorný explains. Imagine, for example, a rock the size of Rhode Island smashing into Earth at more than 30 times the speed of sound. The energy of such an impact would cause some unusual chemical reactions, he points out.
 
Four billion years ago, such collisions were not unusual. During a period scientists call the Late Heavy Bombardment, space rocks rained down on Earth. To re-create the energy of those impacts, the scientists beamed light from a high-powered laser at a small pool of formamide. In the goo that was left, they found new molecules: RNA and DNA bases.

Tags: EarthlifeasteroidDNAlaserbiologychemistry

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-12-31
+1
There are many ideas how life originated on earth - the main problem is to perform experiments that would provide convincing evidence. Energy form asteroid impacts could be an important factor Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-09-23 08:31:24
    Fly me to the Moon: For some, lunar village takes shape..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-23 08:22:48
    One year later, Microsoft AI and Research grows to 8k.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-09-23 08:14:46
    Big Antarctic iceberg edges out to sea..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-22 18:42:50
    To Achieve 100% Renewable Energy, We Need Way Better.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-09-22 18:31:20
    How the poliovirus can be used to battle lethal cancers..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me