Amino acid glycine found in samples from the comet Wild 2

Aug 17th, 2009 | By | Category: Science

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/08/glycinecomet

Scientists have discovered the amino acid glycine, a critical component of all living things, hiding in samples from the comet Wild 2.

It’s the first time an amino acid has been found inside a comet, and NASA scientists say the discovery supports the theory that some of the ingredients necessary for life originated in space and traveled to Earth by comet or meteorite.

“If you’re seeing amino acids in comets, then that really gives credence to the idea that the basic componenets of life are going to be widespread throughout the universe,” said planetary biologist Max Bernstein of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, who was not involved in the research. “It’s one thing for me to do it in the lab and say it should be so, but it’s another thing for somebody to actually measure it.”

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