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Posts Tagged ‘Glycolaldehyde

Sugar Molecule in Milky Way’s Habitable Zone Hints at Possibility of Life

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Scientists recently detected an organic sugar molecule that is directly linked to the origin of life, in a region of our galaxy where habitable planets could exist.  Glycolaldehyde, (HOCH 2 -CH = O) the simplest of the monosaccharide sugars, can react with the substance propenal to form ribose, a central constituent of Ribonucleic acid (RNA), thought to be the central molecule in the origin of life.

The international team of researchers, including a researcher at University College London (UCL), used the IRAM radio telescope in France to detect the molecule in a massive star forming region of space, some 26000 light years from Earth.

“This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbour life may exist,” said Dr Serena Viti with University College London… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by physicsgg

July 21, 2011 at 8:42 am