Sugar found in meteorites that crashed to Earth

Sugar found in meteorites that crashed to Earth

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NASA says that meteorites that crashed to Earth billions of years ago contains sugars, which may support the idea that asteroids lead to a possible ingredients for life. 

“The research provides the first direct evidence of ribose in space and the delivery of the sugar to Earth. The extraterrestrial sugar might have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic Earth which possibly led to the origin of life," researcher Yoshihiro Furukawa of Tohoku University, Japan said. 

In a press release last week, a team of international scientists from NASA called the sugars "bio-essential." 

"An enduring mystery regarding the origin of life is how biology could have arisen from non-biological chemical processes. DNA is the template for life, carrying the instructions for how to build and operate a living organism. However, RNA also carries information, and many researchers think it evolved first and was later replaced by DNA. This is because RNA molecules have capabilities that DNA lacks. RNA can make copies of itself without “help” from other molecules, and it can also initiate or speed up chemical reactions as a catalyst. The new work gives some evidence to support the possibility that RNA coordinated the machinery of life before DNA," the release says. 

NASA says it will do further research on meteorites to get a "better idea of the abundance of extra-terrestrial sugars." 

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