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In the Beginning: More early clues for life at home, out there

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12:20pm, March 19, 2008

Astronomers have just moved closer to understanding how the raw ingredients for life may have arisen on Earth as well as on planets light-years beyond the solar system.

One team, using the Hubble Space Telescope, has for the first time detected an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star. Although the orb can't support life, the discovery bodes well for finding organic material on more habitable exoplanets. Another team found that space rocks delivered a bigger helping of amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—to the early Earth than previously suspected.

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