More Asteroids Could Have Made Life’s Ingredients

This artist’s concept uses hands to illustrate the left and right-handed versions of the amino acid isovaline. Credit: NASA/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith

>From a NASA press release:

A wider range of asteroids were capable of creating the kind of amino acids used by life on Earth, according to new NASA research. Amino acids are used to build proteins, which are used by life to make structures like hair and nails, and to speed up or regulate chemical reactions. Amino acids come in two varieties that are mirror images of each other, like your hands. Life on Earth uses the left-handed kind exclusively. Since life based on right-handed amino acids would presumably work fine, scientists are trying to find out why Earth-based life favored left-handed amino acids. (…) Read the rest of More Asteroids Could Have Made Life’s Ingredients (711 words)

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