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Meteorites contain chemicals linked to life

Space rocks could have delivered DNA building blocks to Earth

By
5:37pm, August 10, 2011

Scientists have discovered life-related chemicals in nearly a dozen meteorites, the strongest evidence yet that space rocks contain the building blocks of DNA and could have delivered them to Earth.

Several of the chemicals are extremely rare on Earth, suggesting they really are from outer space instead of being just local contamination. “Everything points to these being indigenous to the meteorites,” says Michael Callahan, an analytical chemist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

He and his colleagues published the findings online the week of August 8 in Proceedings of the

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