News of recent lab experiments — demonstrating how chemical “cosmic barbecues” around nearby dying carbon-rich stars might have created life’s prebiotic building blocks — glossed over one key point. That is, would enough of such material have survived the journey from interstellar space through Earth’s atmosphere to a violent impact on the surface of our young planet?
The idea that long chain precursors of biologically-crucial nucleic acids, like RNA and DNA, might have actually formed in the seemingly inhospitable wilds of the interstellar medium certainly makes for interesting reading. But is it really relevant for the evolution of life on an earthlike planet?
As detailed in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in California and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have for the first time demonstrated that cosmic hot spots near these stars could be ideal for the creation of bio-relevant, nitrogen-containing ringed molecules.Are we not the ash of stars? To read more, click here.