In a Martian meteorite discovered building block of life




In a Martian meteorite discovered building block of life


Scientists have found a potential building block for life in a Martian meteorite discovered in Antarctica. Parts of the stone contain rich concentrations of boron, which is suspected of biochemists in the decisive influence on the development of ribonucleic acid, or RNA (more on this development, please click here .)

“I read how important the forest could be in the origin of life, part of the RNA stabilizing” – says biologist James Stevenson Astrobiology Institute NASA.

RNA – a biological molecule, which, according to scientists, was the springboard for the development of life on Earth. Like DNA, that is, deoxyribonucleic acid, which developed later, RNA can also store and transfer information to the cells.

RNA consists of three main components – phosphate, ribose, which is a five-carbon sugar, and nucleotides. Phosphates and nucleotides were already in meteorites before. Ribose never showed beyond Earth.

“Of the three parts that make up RNA ribose – the hardest part. We have not been able to explain how it could have formed in a natural way. ”

In 2004, chemist Steven Benner and the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville suggested that the secret accomplice of ribose was boron.

“If someone thinks that life originated from RNA, which was formed to biological life, we do not know other ways to get enough ribose, except using the Forest” – said Benner.

“We boron unique size, capable of stabilizing the ribose ring structure. No other element showed a similar effect. ”

After reading the work of Benner, Stevenson asked a fellow geologist, analyzed whether the Martian meteorites on Earth for the presence of boron. The answer was “no”, so Stevenson had to address the issue independently.

The team tore boric jackpot in the last hours of the set time frame for the work in highly specialized ion microprobe at the University of Hawaii.

“We had four days to work on this doroguschy car, and the first 3.5 days, we did not see boron. We tried different meteorites these meteorites and groped in different places. It was only in the last hours of a sudden grown boron concentration from 2-3 parts per million to 200 parts per million “, – said Stevenson.

“It was a surprise to all of us. We were about to give up. We worked 15 hours a day on this machine and have not found anything. And only came to leave, how to get this result – so we had to stay and work all night. ”

In the future, the researchers plan to test whether the clay earth with the same amount of boron has been found in a meteorite, stabilize ribose. After all, is not a secret that the clay could well be the main catalyst for the development of life on Earth.

Well, one more reason to speculate on the topic ” Can life be older than the Earth itself. ”
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Tags: Life , Mars , Meteorites , RNA .

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