Without the fundamental building blocks for life, there wouldn’t have been any kind of life form on Earth. Living creatures need these necessary cells and organic matters to thrive. However, scientists are still baffled by phosphates, some crucial elements for life. Now, a new study came up with an interesting theory that critical building blocks of life might have come to Earth from deep space.
The researchers at the University of Hawaii, in collaboration with scientists from France and Taiwan, found that phosphates would have been formed in deep space and delivered to our planet via asteroids and comets.
The research, titled “An Interstellar Synthesis of Phosphorus Oxoacids,” authored by Andrew Turner, now an assistant professor at the University of Pikeville, and chemistry professor Ralf Kaiser, was published earlier this month in the Nature Communication journal.
As reported in the paper, phosphates and diphosphoric acid are two essential building block of life, and they originated in deep space.
Critical Building Blocks For Life Might Have Come To Earth From Deep Space
“On Earth, phosphine is lethal to living beings. But in the interstellar medium, exotic phosphine chemistry can promote rare chemical reaction pathways to initiate the formation of bio-relevant molecules such as oxoacids of phosphorus, which eventually might spark the molecular evolution of life as we know it,” said Andrew Turner, the study’s leading author.
“The phosphorus oxoacids detected in our experiments by the combination of sophisticated analytics involving lasers, coupled to mass spectrometers along with gas chromatographs, might have also been formed within the ices of comets such as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which contains a phosphorus source believed to derive from phosphine,” added Ralf Kaiser.
Once delivered to Earth by comets and asteroids, these critical building blocks of life might have combined with the chemical compounds on our planet to build organic matter and then life.