What has been revealed in the initial analysis of NASA’s Dugu asteroid sample?


Science News Desk – In 2019, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft collected some samples from the Ryugu asteroid and dropped them on Earth on 6 December 2020. After this it was opened in Japan in July 2021 and then some parts of it were also given to NASA for study. Preliminary study of these samples has been completed by NASA and its international team. Earlier the idea was prevalent that the chemical components necessary for life were formed from the biological substances of the space. Now the team has found that there are many organic molecules in the Dugu sample.

what are organic molecules
First of all, it is necessary to know what biological molecules are and why they are getting so much attention. Organic molecules are the basic building blocks of all forms of life on Earth, and they are composed of many compounds that include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other atoms. But organic molecules can also form from chemical reactions that don’t involve life.

amino acid synthesis
Nevertheless, the discovery of biomolecules supports the concept that chemical reactions occurring in asteroids could produce some of the components of life. The science of prebiotics or prebiotic chemistry attempts to find out what compounds and reactions may have led to the formation of life. A wide variety of amino acids have been found in many of the former biological materials found in the samples.

amino acids and proteins
Some amino acids are widely found in life on Earth as the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are very important to life because they form enzymes that control chemical reactions in living organisms. From these our body’s hair to muscles are made.

Ingredients of Dugu
Dugu samples also contained a variety of organic substances that form in liquid water, including some amines, hydrocarbons, and nitrogenous substances. Hiroshi Naroka of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, says that despite the harsh environment, the presence of prebiotic or prebiotic molecules on the surface of the asteroid suggests that particles on the surface of the asteroid may be protecting biological molecules.

anywhere in the solar system
Narcoa is the first author of the study, which was published online in February in the journal Science. He explained that these molecules can come out of the asteroid due to collision or other reasons and can go anywhere in the solar system in the form of interplanetary dust particles. Meanwhile, study co-author Jason Dvorkin of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said the amino acid results from dugu matched those of some of the carbonaceous meteorites that had encountered the most water in space.

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