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Life’s Origin Can Be Known Through Cyanide Compounds Found In Meteorites

Carbon Monoxide and Cyanide and are toxic poisons to humans, but compounds enclose cyanide, iron, and carbon monoxide are found in carbon-rich meteorites, according to the team of scientists from Boise State University, United States. NASA may have helped feed life on Earth. Alien substances found in meteorites appear to be the active site of hydrogenases, enzymes that provide energy to bacteria and archaea by releasing hydrogen gas (H2). Their results suggest that these compounds were also present on primitive earth before life began, at a time when the earth was constantly bombarded with meteorites and the atmosphere was most likely richer in hydrogen.

Cyanide, formed by carbon atom bound to a nitrogen atom, is considered crucial to the origin of life as it is engaged in the non-biological synthesis of organic compounds, such as amino acids and nucleobases, which are the constituent elements of nucleic acids and proteins used by all known life forms.

“Data collected by the NASA asbestos probe, OSIRIS-REX, indicate that it is related to CM chondrites,” said Jason Dworkin, co-author of NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. “OSIRIS-REX will provide a sample of Bennu to study on Earth in 2023. We will look for the same compounds to connect Bennu to known meteorites and know the potential release of cyanide, which is a prebiotic compound, might have helped start life on earth or other bodies present in the solar system.”

A persistent mystery about the origin of life is how biology could come from non-biological chemical processes. The similarities between active sites on hydrogenase enzymes and cyanide compounds discovered by meteorites suggest that non-biological processes in the meteorite and early Earth asteroids could have made molecules useful for emergent life.

Carl Harris
Carl Harris Subscriber
Content Writer At Industry News Reports

Bachelor’s degree in Astrophysics has helped develop an interest in knowing more about the space and Universe concepts. The keenness in gathering more information about the outside world has helped Carl enhance his skill of writing. He immediately chose the field of content writing as a career so as to provide the public with all the astronomical knowledge gained during the years of experience. The content writing has now become an integral part of Carl’s life and thus, he has been able to dedicate 4 Years of his life to Industry News Reports portal as a Senior Content Writer.

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