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Raves: Life in Space

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April 15, 2010

01:48

The events that led to the origins of life on Earth are a mystery.  Where did our primordial ooze-like ancestors get their start?  Deep-sea ocean vents?  A big life-factory in the sky?  Some spontaneously formed microbial version of the Octomom?  The cold, harsh cradle of space?  Thanks to evidence retrieved by the NASA spacecraft Stardust from the comet Wild 2, that last option is beginning to gain some traction.    

So should we all start changing our nametags from "Earthling" to "Spaceling"?  And what could this mean for other potential lifeforms out there in the abyss?  Watch to find out.

Host: Brit Trogen

Photo credits: Elizabeth Iannone, Brian Close, Rodger Tanner, Max Mirot, NASA, MGM and Philipp Salzgeber

References:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stardust/news/stardust_amino_acid.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6800612.ece

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17628-found-first-amino-acid-on-a-comet.html

YOUR COMMENTS

Rob H. on April 16, 2010
But what about the possibility of Bacillus spores on a comet, the theory of panspermia involves either amino acids or life.
Brit Trogen April 19, 2010
While there have been rumours, so far no claims of bacteria or spores on comets have been confirmed. And while it is true that amino acids are not "life", they are certainly the first ingredient. There is even a more specialized theory called "chemical panspermia" that refers specifically to organic compounds, not microbial life.

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