Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dust of Life

An article in the January 10th issue of
Astrophysical Journal Letters
reports the first evidence of some interesting organic molecues in the dust cloud of a star not too different from our own Sun. Signals suggestive of acetylene and hydrogen cyanide were recorded. These basic chemical building blocks are a long way from amino acids and proteins. Calling them "gaseous precursors to DNA and protein," as was done by one science magazine, is simply ignorant (or perhaps just very hopeful). This finding is another important stepping stone in the development of planets capable of sustaining life, but does not mean little green men are floating in space dust.

Also covered by,, the Discovery Channel, and, among others.


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