NASA Experiment Creates Life in Harsh Space Like Enviroment
Over the centuries, we have solved plenty of mysteries about life on planet Earth. We know about human anatomy, we know about our galaxy, we even figured out how Earth came to be.
However, there are some mysteries which we still haven’t solved. One of them, is the creation of life. Earth supports numerous creatures and is highly suitable for the existence of life. But how exactly did it all started? From a scientific point of view, we are yet to discover the truth behind the very first signs of life on Earth.
Some scientists at Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory CA and Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland have found the first clue that could potentially explain how life got here.
According to their research, some elements of human DNA can survive in the harsh space environments. For their experiment, they created some ice containing pyrimidine, a set of molecules which create the three core chemicals in DNA and RNA.
Pyrimidine can also be found on meteorites, that’s why researchers saw fit to see how it reacts to frozen water in space. The chunk of ice containing pyrimidine was placed inside a device which replicated space vacuum, in addition to lowering the temperature to -430°F.
After this, the chunk was bombarded with brutal radiation from high-energy ultraviolet photons. In the end, the team found out that pyrimidine molecules were able to survive these conditions. On top of that, the radiation transformed some of them into uracil, cytosine and thymine, the three core DNA/RNA chemicals.
Christopher Matarese, one of the NASA researchers working on the experiment stated:
We are trying to address the mechanisms in space that are forming these molecules. Considering what we produced in the laboratory, the chemistry of ice exposed to ultraviolet radiation may be an important linking step between what goes on in space and what fell to Earth early in its development.
Another researcher joining the team from Ames stated:
Our experiments suggest that once the Earth formed, many of the building blocks of life were likely present from the beginning. Since we are simulating universal astrophysical conditions, the same is likely wherever planets are formed.
The experiment raised more questions than it answered. We now know pyrimidine can survive on meteorites, but how did it get on it in the first place?