Short post today, I’ve been up all night dealing with IT issues and so right now I’m totally wasted and yet also hyped up with too much coffee … sigh! You do not want to know, trust me you just don’t, I guarantee you that if you did ask, and I was stupid enough to actually tell you, then within five minutes your eyes would have glazed over, and ten minutes in your head would have hit the table.
So anyway, here is a bit of cool news that caught my eye. Some scientists at the University of Kent in the UK have fired steel balls into blocks of ice with a glorified BB gun. Sounds exciting, ah but blowing things up for the heck of it is not just for fun, but for science. There is what is known as the shock-synthesis hypothesis – this suggests that the origins of life could have drawn upon the relatively simple chemicals in comets. To look into this there have been computer simulations and also folks mixing stuff and then heating it to see what happens. This however takes it all a step further.
So what happens if you take the stuff in comets and simulate an impact? The answer is that you get amino acids – so this is not just a hypothesis anymore, they tried it and it worked.
“This process demonstrates a very simple mechanism whereby we can go from a mix of simple molecules, such as water and carbon dioxide ice, to a more complicated molecule, such as an amino acid,” – University of Kent’s Mark Price
Now that is cool, so where now?
“This is the first step toward life. The next step is to work out how to go from an amino acid to even more complex molecules such as proteins.” – Mark Price
- Press Release
- The study – Shock synthesis of amino acids from impacting cometary and icy planet surface analogues
[Well I did say it would be a short post today]