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2005-12-23
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Organic Building Blocks

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Tagged As: Biology and Technology

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered the organic building blocks of life in an extra-solar environment. Infrared spectrograms in the constellation Ophiuchus revealed the telling signature of organic molecules, hydrogen cyanide and acetylene. Cal Tech astronomer Dr. Geoffrey Blake says, 'If you add hydrogen cyanide, acetylene and water together in a test tube, and give them an appropriate surface on which to be concentrated and react, you'll get a slew of organic compounds including amino acids and a DNA purine base called adenine.' Although not the first detection of these compounds in space, the discovery represents the first positive identification of them in a solar configuration similar to Earth.



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