Living systems owe their existence to a pair of information-carrying molecules: DNA and RNA. These fundamental chemical forms possess two features essential for life: they display heredity — meaning they can encode and pass on genetic information, and they can adapt over time, through processes of Darwinian evolution.
A long-debated question is whether heredity and evolution could be performed by molecules other than DNA and RNA.
Life on Earth consists of many millions of species, divided into ever smaller numbers when you zoom out to Genus, Family, Order, Class, Phylum and Kingdom – of which there are six. When you divide in Domains, there are just … Continue reading →
A meteorite analyzed in the study at its collection site in Antarctica. Credit:Antarctic Search for Meteorites program, Case Western Reserve University
Creating some of life’s building blocks in space may be a bit like making a sandwich – you can make them cold or hot, according to new NASA research. This evidence that there is more than one way to make crucial components of life increases the likelihood that life emerged elsewhere in the Universe, according to the research team, and gives support to the theory that a “kit” of ready-made parts created in space and delivered to Earth by impacts from meteorites and comets assisted the origin of life.