Scientists find first extraterrestrial protein

Date:4 March 2020 Author: Leila Stein Tags:, ,

Are we alone in the universe? This question has puzzled humans since the discovery of other planets. Scientists have made a new discovery that could indicate life in other parts of the solar system: extraterrestrial protein stuck inside a meteorite.

According to Science Alert, using a new analysis technique, scientists analysed the meteorite that fell to Earth 30 years ago.

Using “state-of-the-art” mass spectrometry, they found what they believe to be protein in a meteorite called Acfer 086, found in Algeria in 1990.

The researchers explain that this is not definitive proof of extraterrestrial life, the existence of the protein hints at the possibility as it is a major building block of life.

They have called the newly discovered protein hemolithin. It has a similar structure to terrestrial protein, but the ratio of deuterium to hydrogen was not matched by anything on Earth.

The scientists have said this may not turn out to be a protein, but because the glycine amino acid was found bound to other elements such as iron and lithium, it indicates it is part of a protein.

This suggests, the researchers argue, that the structure they have identified as protein is of extraterrestrial origin, and possibly formed in the proto-solar disc, over 4.6 billion years ago.

Image: Pixabay



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