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Space Science

Meteorites May Have Delivered Seeds of Life On Earth 277

Posted by Zonk
from the thanks-for-the-lift dept.
esocid writes "At the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists presented evidence today that desert heat, a little water, and meteorite impacts may have been enough to cook up one of the first prerequisites for life. The result of that brew could be the dominance of "left-handed" amino acids, the building blocks of life on this planet. Chains of amino acids make up the protein found in people, plants, and all other forms of life on Earth. There are two orientations of amino acids, left and right, which mirror each other in the same way your hands do. These amino acids "seeds" formed in interstellar space, possibly on asteroids as they careened through space. At the outset, they have equal amounts of left and right-handed amino acids. But as these rocks soar past neutron stars, their light rays trigger the selective destruction of one form of amino acid."
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Meteorites May Have Delivered Seeds of Life On Earth

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2008 @11:38PM (#22985050)
    It means that there is only a 50% chance we are edible for aliens!
  • Space sperm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nimey (114278) on Sunday April 06, 2008 @11:47PM (#22985132) Homepage Journal
    Makes sense in a way: the meteors are sperm, the Earth the egg, the orbital bombardment the BDSM.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 06, 2008 @11:48PM (#22985136)
    It sure sounds like it [bbc.co.uk].
  • The fact that meterorite showers brought life to our planet is no mystery to me. See, I lived in Smallville for a while and I've seen things you wouldn't believe.

    - Chloe Sullivan
  • by mbstone (457308) on Monday April 07, 2008 @12:10AM (#22985266)
    Now that we know that life as we know it sprang from meteorite-sperm, we owe it to the rest of the Universe to immediately deploy Dyson condoms.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07, 2008 @12:30AM (#22985400)
    The better news is that we're 100% edible to each other. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go finish reading my copy of How to Serve Man.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday April 07, 2008 @12:37AM (#22985432) Homepage Journal
    "A cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree."

    vs.

    "A rock from space covered in particular chemicals crashed into the earth three billion years ago, and through a process of self-replication and environmental pressure, these chemicals produced more complex molecular structures, leading to life as we know it."

    Yeah, Christianity is so much more plausible.
  • by Cryacin (657549) on Monday April 07, 2008 @01:24AM (#22985652)
    Ned Flanders for one welcomes our new left handed amino overlords.
  • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday April 07, 2008 @01:47AM (#22985770) Homepage Journal
    For not being plausible, there sure are a lot of people calling on God to save them during moments of suffering and death.

    Of course they do, God made them to suffer, so only God can make it stop. We're all victims, pleading with a serial killer before He finishes His grisly work.
  • by dibblda (882455) on Monday April 07, 2008 @02:59AM (#22986068)
    WEll..... try here: http://objectiveministries.org/creation/sciencefair.html [objectiveministries.org] 1st Place: "Life Doesn't Come From Non-Life" Patricia Lewis (grade 8) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life - carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) - into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes. 2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking" Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.
  • by Alsee (515537) on Monday April 07, 2008 @05:09AM (#22986528) Homepage
    (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.

    Oh man... I *so* want to be the one grading the projects and to sit down and talk with sweet little Patricia about her science experiment. I would be abundantly enthusiastic and impressed with all of her scientific work as I went over the various aspects of her project. I would be particularly impressed and particularly commend her on her thoroughness in considering that God could potentially interfere with the experiment and specifically praying to God not to do so...

    then I would get a thoughtful look on my face, and say "hmmmmmmm......"

    Hmmmmm, Patricia, your excellent work just made me think of something. I'm impressed by how you scientifically accounted for possible supernatural influence in the experiment, but are you certain you accounted for all such possible effects? You accounted for God, but is God the only potential influence? What about Satan? Did you scientifically account for Satan? What if a charcoal briquet, purified water, and a multi-vitamin *do* spontaneously create life when left in the sun, but what if Satan interfered and kept killing any such new life just because he wanted to invalidate your findings?

    You've done some excellent science work so far Patricia, and I don't want to score you badly for the oversight and inconsistent treatment of supernatural influences, so I'm going to let you take your project back so you can fix it. Do a new write up addressing the problem, and possibly re-do the experiment if necessary, and then bring it back to me when the problem is solved.

    Okay, I'm a cruel bastard with a twisted sense of humor. Chuckle.

    -

"We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." -- George Bernard Shaw

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