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New alcohol added to space-stuff catalog

11:14am, October 10, 2001

Astrochemists have discovered another organic chemical in the same region of space

where other researchers had identified the first extraterrestrial sugar (SN:

6/24/00, p. 405). On Earth, the alcohol is used to make packaging polymers.

The finding of space-based molecules such as sugar and the newly identified vinyl

alcohol could help researchers determine how complex molecules first formed in the

cosmos, says Barry Turner of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in

Charlottesville, Va. The findings will appear in a forthcoming issue of

Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Turner and A.J. Apponi of the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory in

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