Ingredients For Life.
Geeks go wild.
1. Samples from the asteroid Ryugu contain uracil, one of the four building blocks of RNA, as well as niacin and other compounds that are important for living organisms. This lends credence to the idea that the ingredients for life were brought to Earth by space rocks. Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft returned 5.4 grams of asteroid dust from Ryugu at the end of 2020, and various laboratories obtained tiny portions of the dust to examine. Yasuhiro Oba at Hokkaido University in Japan and his colleagues steeped their samples first in hot water for 20 hours, then in hydrochloric acid, and then they searched the resulting tea-like extracts for nucleases. They did a similar procedure to search for organic molecules. Even though the researchers started with samples weighing less than 20 milligrams, and only 20 to 30 per cent of the extracts were used for this study, they managed to find uracil and complex organic molecules. (Source: newscientist.com)