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.

Comet

Comet

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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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