NASA reveals asteroid sample contains building blocks of life

Originally published at: NASA reveals asteroid sample contains building blocks of life | Boing Boing


That’s a start, for building life on Earth.


This is such an astounding accomplishment, it boggles my mind to think of all the parts of this project that had to go right for it to succeed.

The downside is it sorta looks like the dust on the inside of my brake discs when i changed out my car’s brake pads.

But joking aside, just thinking about the complexity of flying into far away space, grabbing some asteroid stuff, and flying home, all by preprogramming and some remote control…


seth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers

I’d say that about so many of the programs that NASA has carried out over it’s long history (same with the Soviet space program - not sure about the current Russian program). The complexity of these programs relied on deep institutional knowledge and so many people working together… and yet, there is so much wailing and gnashing of teeth about how there are so many things we can’t do in this country, because it’s too hard. Bullshit. Just look at NASA, we can do amazing shit when human beings put aside their differences and work together for a good cause…


time to add to the pseudo panspermia page?

Super exciting. I know that studying meteorites they have found other building blocks of life like Aminos. It make sense that if the blocks are that are abundant they could, with the right chemical processes, result in self replicating processes that eventually gain the ability to reproduce on their own and create “life”.

I remember reading many years ago the hypothesis that life may have originated in ice on earth. Experiments had them forming large hydrocarbon chains in ice.Super curious if we will find those in comet ice.

I can’t wait to see what else we can glean.


On a related note; Kurzgesagt’s new video yesterday proposes an interesting idea RE panspermia.


Robin Hood Disney GIF

Yes! This blew my mind - the thought that there was a period of millions of years where the entire universe was at a temperature suitable for life. I’ve never been a huge fan of panspermia arguments, since it kicks the question of “how did life arise” down the road. But, if the entire universe was your petri dish…



I like this physicist’s YouTube channel. In this vid she outlines why carbon and water are the best bet for life elsehere:


It explains why almost all the aliens look like actors on make up.

Even with Earth, there are odd carbon-based forms lurking in the niches that won’t produce the usual clues of life.

eta: The metabolisms can get pretty funky, and not life as we know it: An inter-species power-grid of protein nanowires!

Another observed metabolic phenomenon is the cooperation between Geobacter species, in which several species cooperate in metabolizing a mixture of chemicals that neither could process alone. Provided with ethanol and sodium fumarate, G. metallireducens broke down the ethanol, generating an excess of electrons that were passed to G. sulfurreducens via nanowires grown between them, enabling G. sulfurreducens to break down the fumarate ions.[10] The nanowires are made of proteins with metal-like conductivity.[11]


Right? It would have been surprising if the sample had contained NO carbon or water.

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NEWS FLASH: object in the universe contains three of the four most common elements in the universe


Peter Zeihan talks about how the old Soviet education system collapsed and the youngest people who know how to run the technical stuff are in their sixties.

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