Cometlike crashes produce building blocks of life

Amino acids in collision residue support importance of extraterrestrial impacts

By Jessica Shugart, 10:26 AM September 16, 2013

Smacking a steel projectile into a comet-like icy concoction has produced the ingredients for making proteins. The findings add weight to the hypothesis that primordial life on Earth arose from the wreckage of comet collisions.

Space debris relentlessly pummeled Earth when life began, an estimated 3.8 billion years ago. Some scientists think that icy carbon-bearing comets delivered life’s ingredients. Energy from the impacts may have catalyzed the transformation of simple carbon compounds into...

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