Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We are starstuff

This article - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9169518/Life-brought-to-Earth-by-comets.html - refers to simulations that strongly support the hypothesis that life on earth began out there.

Specifically, it appears that amino acids can survive the impact of the body carrying them with a planet. This probably means that if we find life on another planet in the solar system (a couple of the moons in the outer system remain promising) it will be based on the same amino acids as Earth life.

It could even mean that the amino acids are universal (which would mean that colonists on another planet might be able to eat the native life, assuming it's not poisonous, but would also mean that bacterial infections could be passed from ecosystem to ecosystem).

I've long believed in the comet seeding theory - nice to see it is at least feasible.