Nucleobases

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Post Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:40 pm

Nucleobases

If anyone reads Astronomy Now magazine, has anyone read the article on the discovery of nucleobases in meteorites?

http://www.astronomynow.com/news/n1108/10meteorite/

This might solve one of the biggest problems in astrobiology; how get get from simple molecules like carbon monoxide to these complex structures... Put another way though. it just moves the problem somewhere else! :? Any thoughts?
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:13 pm

Re: Nucleobases

That's a fascinating article - thanks for the link.

Richard Dawkins argued in The Blind Watchmaker that self-replicating molecules could develop within an organic soup on early Earth, and that as these molecules replicated they'd mop up the 'soup' until elements became rare at which point the most efficient replicators would have an advantage and hey presto, evolution is off and running. I remember he even gave away a free Apple Mac program with the book, also called the Blind Watchmaker, which would allow people to model this process on their own computers.

However, I'm not sure what sort of chemical soup he envisaged as existing beforehand. Maybe some of the chemicals in that could have come from meteorites? Or maybe the earliest replicators themselves came from meteorites? Anyway, the discovery reported in your link raises lots of interesting questions.

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