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Inspirational Story of the Week:

Everything Needed to Make RNA and DNA Has Been Found In Asteroids and Meteorites

An inspiring article from the

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Space rocks that fell to Earth within the last century contain the five bases that store information in DNA and RNA, scientists report in Nature.

These “nucleobases”—adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil—combine with sugars and phosphates to make up the genetic code of all life on Earth.

Together, cytosine, thymine, adenine, guanine, and uracil, a group known as “nucleobases,” combine with some sugars which have also been found in meteorites, and phosphates to create the genetic code used to form all forms of life on Earth.

Until now, scientists scouring extraterrestrial samples had only found three of the five. However, a recent analysis by a team of scientists led by Associate Professor Yasuhiro Oba of Hokkaido University, identified the final two nucleobases that have eluded scientists.

“We now have evidence that the complete set of nucleobases used in life today could have been available on Earth when life emerged,” said Danny Glavin, a co-author of the paper at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Nucleobases belong to classes of organic molecules called purines and pyrimidines, which have a wide variety. However, it remains a mystery why more types haven’t been discovered in meteorites so far.