This is the first ever detection of this prebiotic molecule
towards solar-type protostars, the sort from which our Solar System evolved.
Mark Swain of NASA, who led the team, said it was a "crucial stepping stone" to characterising prebiotic molecule
on planets where life could exist.
Since that time, amino acids seem to be on the forefront of prebiotic molecule
research, which includes the study of DNA, RNA, proteinoids (Sidney Fox), ribozymes (Thomas Cech & Sidney Airman), and pre-RNA molecules such as peptide nucleic acid (Peter E.
Methyl isocyanate is one of the family of prebiotic molecules
, which are considered the precursors to the formation of more complex compounds, like amino acids and peptides, that are eventually linked to the existence of life as we know it.
In research presented at the Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in London, astronomers discussed the dusty, stormy atmospheres of exoplanets and brown dwarfs and how they could be hothouses for the formation of prebiotic molecules
Many of the interstellar molecules discovered to date are the same kinds detected in laboratory experiments specifically designed to synthesize prebiotic molecules
Yet these prebiotic molecules
rarely combine into chains of more than 10 to 20 links.
This is the first molecule detected in interstellar space that has the property of chirality, making it a pioneering leap forward in our understanding of how prebiotic molecules
are made in the universe and the effects they may have on the origins of life," Brett McGuire, a chemist and Jansky postdoctoral fellow with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia, and author of a paper published on the study in the journal Science, said in a statement.
The scientists led by a University of South Florida astrobiologist found that during the Hadean and Archean eons - the first of the four principal eons of the Earth's earliest history - the heavy bombardment of meteorites provided reactive phosphorus that when released in water could be incorporated into prebiotic molecules
They represent an important class of prebiotic molecules
, which are precursors to life," said Jesse Bregman, also an astrophysicist at Ames.
Washington, March 1 ( ANI ): Researchers have discovered an important pair of prebiotic molecules
in interstellar space.
The results not only suggest that Titan's ionosphere could be a reservoir of prebiotic molecules
that could serve as the springboard to life, but may offer a new perspective on the emergence of life on Earth as well: Instead of a primordial soup, the first ingredients of life on our planet may have formed from a primordial haze high in Earth's atmosphere.