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

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

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 2017-07-28 16:30:41
    Elon Musk names yet another launch date for SpaceX’s.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-07-28 16:21:55
    Stem cell brain implants could 'slow ageing and extend life'..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-07-28 16:15:58
    Facebook and Google had 99% of online ad growth..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-07-27 15:19:10
    Could 'cocktail geoengineering' save the climate?..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-07-27 15:13:16
    Ketamine has 'truly remarkable' effect on depression..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
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....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