A research team led by scientists from Boise State University and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has identified several complex cyanide compounds in a set of CM chondrite meteorites. These extraterrestrial organometallic compounds are a source of free cyanide and also bear a striking similarity to portions of the active sites of hydrogeneses (enzymes that provide energy to bacteria and archaea by breaking down hydrogen gas), which suggests that these compounds may have played an important role during the origin and early evolution of life on Earth.

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