Phospholipid molecules were observed in space. This important discovery can confirm the theory that life appeared on Earth thanks to components from outer space – all cells on Earth are made of phospholipid membranes.
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Life appeared on Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, only a few hundred million years after the formation of the solar system. Scientists have long wondered why so many complex molecules essential for life appear so quickly. It was assumed that these particles already existed in outer space and from there came to Earth.
Earlier it was observed in Universe Protein precursors – amino acids or precursors of ribonucleotides that make up DNA. Now it turns out that there are also phospholipids in space – refers to the portal KopalniaWiedzy.pl.
Victor Rivilla and colleagues from the Spanish Center for Astrobiology in Madrid report the discovery in space of ethanolamine, an important component of the simplest phospholipids. This is of great importance for theories about the origin of life on Earth, but also for possible life on other planets.
The molecule was observed by analyzing light from the interstellar molecular cloud Sagittarius B2, which is only 390 light-years from the center of the Milky Way. It was already known to be a region rich in organic molecules.
Previously, ethanolamine was discovered meteorites. It is assumed that it arose on them as a result of unusual reactions that occurred on the asteroid from which the meteorite arose. However, it is possible that the molecule is much more ubiquitous than previously thought.