Could life's building blocks have formed in space?

How complex molecules are made from simpler ones
21 December 2017
Presented by Lewis Thomson
Production by Lewis Thomson.


The question of where life began is a difficult one to answer. While many scientists believe that life began on earth, others believe that life, or at least its building blocks, first formed in space.  A recent study from the University of Sherbrooke, in Canada, has shown how complex organic molecules could form on icy comets – from nothing more than simple molecules and radiation. And it’s possible that this could explain how complex molecules like amino acids – which are the building blocks of proteins – could have originally formed billions of years ago and led to the beginning of life on Earth. Michael Huels, who led the study, spoke to Lewis Thomson.


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