Planetary scientists have found amino acids, building blocks of life, in an unexpected place: a meteorite whose parent asteroid formed at temperatures so high that such fragile organic compounds should have been destroyed. One explanation for the surprising discovery is that some amino acids might form through a mechanism that does not require the presence of water, upping the chances of finding life beyond the solar system, says Daniel Glavin of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
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