Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Meteorites delivered the 'seeds' of Earth's left-hand life

Breslow simulated what occurred after the dust settled following a meteor bombardment, when the amino acids on the meteor mixed with the primordial soup. Under "credible prebiotic conditions" -- desert-like temperatures and a little bit of water -- he exposed amino acid chemical precursors to those amino acids found on meteorites.

Breslow and Columbia chemistry grad student Mindy Levine found that these cosmic amino acids could directly transfer their chirality to simple amino acids found in living things. Thus far, Breslow's team is the first to demonstrate that this kind of handedness transfer is possible under these conditions.

1 comment:

mr. intense said...

I wonder how, or if, this transfer of left-hand chirality to our DNA as hyposthesized as having been originated in the primordial soup has to do with the Russian/Euro research recently publicized a several months ago about how, in the right plasma conditions, in space, certain formations of fine-grained interstellar dust can be made, naturally, to take on a spiral helix shape, and actually "reproduce" and evolve, all while being non-organic?

Perhaps it has to do with the underlying structure of how fine matter can be affected to take on characteristic forms whether organic or not.

I have often thought one of the answers to this is, for example, just how cigarette smoke can curl into spirals off the end of the ciggie to take on certain repeated movements, motions, and shapes as one stands there, Marlboro in hand, and contemplates the esoteric relationships between heated matter subjected to certain precursor conditions then moving through....hey, maybe that wasn't a Marlboro!

Might have mendaciously started with the letter M, however. There's a lesson here somewhere...