In “Building block of life found on comet” (Tue Aug 18, 2009, 9:37am EDT), Steve Gorman writes:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The amino acid glycine, a fundamental building block of proteins, has been found in a comet for the first time, bolstering the theory that raw ingredients of life arrived on Earth from outer space, scientists said on Monday.
Microscopic traces of glycine were discovered in a sample of particles retrieved from the tail of comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust deep in the solar system some 242 million miles (390 million km) from Earth, in January 2004
[Astrobiologist Jamie Elsila of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland] presented the findings, accepted for publication in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, to a meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., this week.
Glycine and other amino acids have been found in a number of meteorites before, most notably one that landed near the town of Murchison, Australia in 1969, Elsila said.
(Editing by Anthony Boadle)
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