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View Full Version : Life's Building Blocks are Common in Space



Fraser
2005-Oct-12, 06:25 PM
SUMMARY: NASA researchers have found that many of the basic building blocks for life here on Earth are common throughout the Universe. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, the researchers observed that complex organic molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are everywhere they looked: in the Milky Way and in the most distant observable galaxies. Most of these molecules contain nitrogen, which is the key requirement for life.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/life_building_blocks_common.html)
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cran
2005-Oct-12, 10:36 PM
:D I didn't realise this was news, but hey! :dance:

GOURDHEAD
2005-Oct-13, 01:11 PM
Most of these molecules contain nitrogen, which is the key requirement for life.Isn't "the key requirement" a bit strong. "One of the key ingredients" may be a better choice.

Samara
2005-Oct-13, 01:53 PM
Most of these molecules contain nitrogen, which is the key requirement for life.

I and my bio teacher were under the impression that carbon was the key ingredient for life.

cran
2005-Oct-14, 12:03 AM
CHON - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen... was what I was taught (also helped to point out the importance of carbonaceous chondrites...) :think:

TheBlackCat
2005-Oct-14, 10:03 PM
CHON - carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen...

Yes, you're quite right. And that list is roughly in order of importance, too. I might also add phosphorus as the fifth item on that list, at least for terrestrial life.

cran
2005-Oct-15, 03:53 AM
>Snap!< I was umming and ahhing about no.5 - phosphorus was my first choice there, but silicon is also fairly high (and more accessible, and used by earlier forms of life), and then I thought 'well, if I include phosphorus, then I really should throw in calcium...