Scientists may have found protein in a meteorite

Posted on Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 17:36 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NewScientist reports a team of Harvard University researchers believe they found protein inside a meteorite. This is the first time scientists discovered extraterrestrial protein, but there's a lot of skepticism about the find.

If the data is accurate, it would mean that the basic buildings blocks of life can form even on a barren rock in the vacuum of space. But other researchers speculate the find could be nothing more than extrapolation from incomplete data:
However, several other researchers contacted by New Scientist expressed scepticism about the results. “If we could find a protein in a meteorite that wasn’t from Earth, then that would be amazing,” says Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow in the UK – but he doesn’t think that is the case here.

The results of the analysis don’t necessarily mean that the compound the researchers claim is in the meteorite really is there, he says. Instead, he says they are extrapolating from incomplete data. The protein they claim to have found is also unlikely to occur in nature, he says. “The structure makes no sense.”

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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