Final ingredient necessary for abiogenesis can be made in comets

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Final ingredient necessary for abiogenesis can be made in comets

Researchers have for the first time shown that ribose, a sugar that is one of the building blocks of genetic material in living organisms, may have formed in cometary ices. To obtain this result, scientists at the Institut de Chimie de Nice (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis) carried out a highly detailed analysis of an artificial comet created by their colleagues at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud). Along with other teams[1], including one at the SOLEIL synchrotron, they propose the first realistic scenario for the formation of this key compound, which had never been detected in meteorites or cometary ices until now. Their findings, which shed new light on the emergence of life on Earth, are published in the journal Science dated 8 April 2016.

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Although the existence of ribose in real comets remains to be confirmed, this discovery completes the list of the molecular building blocks of life that can be formed in interstellar ice. It also lends further support to the theory that comets are the source of the organic molecules that made life possible on Earth, and perhaps elsewhere in the Universe.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407155617.htm

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