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posted by janrinok on Tuesday January 24, @05:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the rocky-beginnings dept.

The research found organic compounds from space which holds the secrets to the origin of life:

New research has been published on the organic analysis of the Winchcombe meteorite which crashed landed onto a driveway in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire in 2021. [...]

In the study, the analysis found a range of organic matter which reveals that the meteorite was once from part of an asteroid where liquid water occurred, and if it that asteroid had been given access to the water, a chemical reaction could have occurred leading to more molecules turning into amino acids and protein - the building blocks of life.

[...] "Winchcombe belongs to a rare type of carbonaceous meteorite which typically contains a rich inventory of organic compounds and water. The first Winchcombe meteorite stone was recovered within 12 hours of the fireball observation event and properly curated to restrict any terrestrial contamination. This allowed us to study the organic signature truly essential to the meteorite itself.

"Studying the organic inventory of the Winchcombe meteorite provided us with a window into the past, how simple chemistry kick started the origin of life at the birth of our solar system. Discovering these life's precursor organic molecules allowed us to comprehend the fall of similar material to the surface of the Earth, prior to the emergence of life on our own planet.

Journal Reference:
Queenie H. S. Chan, Jonathan S. Watson, Mark A. Sephton, et al., The amino acid and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compositions of the promptly recovered CM2 Winchcombe carbonaceous chondrite [open], Meteorit Planet Sci, 2023. DOI:

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by SingularityPhoenix on Tuesday January 24, @05:24PM (1 child)

    by SingularityPhoenix (23544) on Tuesday January 24, @05:24PM (#1288387)

    Maybe the building blocks of life are the building blocks of life because they're common, not rare. A few molecules that we use are not even a self sustaining chemical reaction, let alone life. If they had found evidence that these came from a self sustaining chemical reaction that would be in the headline.

    Don't get me wrong, its great they're hunting for them. Maybe they can learn more about the origins of life on our planet. But I'm skeptical its sensational (but then news outlets are sensationalizing everything).

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by turgid on Tuesday January 24, @07:04PM

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 24, @07:04PM (#1288404) Journal

    I think you're right, and I think that it's only a matter of time until we discover extraterrestrial life. Whether that's 10 years, 100 years or even 1000, I think we will. We've only really developed "proper science" in the last 300 hundred years and our space exploration is still very primitive.