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For the first time, scientists have detected water molecules on the surface of interplanetary dust particles. The water forms in tiny bubbles when solar wind irradiates and damages the dust grains floating through space.

Previous research had shown that space dust also contains organic carbon--another key ingredient for life. Taken together, these findings raise the intriguing possibility that dust trickling down from space could have seeded life's building blocks on our own planet--and potentially elsewhere.

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