Astronomers have discovered a reservoir of simple sugars in a cloud of gas and dust near the center of our galaxy, some 26,000 light-years away - such a discovery suggested how molecular building blocks necessary for life may have come from outer space.
Although the chemistry on Earth and in interstellar clouds is much different, the results can be very similar. This and other recent studies show that prebiotic chemistry -- the formation of the molecular building blocks necessary for the creation of life -- occurs in interstellar clouds long before that cloud collapses to form a new solar system with planets. "Many of the interstellar molecules discovered to date are the same kinds detected in laboratory experiments specifically designed to synthesize prebiotic molecules. This fact suggests a universal prebiotic chemistry," said Jan M. Hollis of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. This suggests that the molecular building blocks for the creation of life on a new planet might get a head start in the dust of interstellar clouds.
Link - via Cosmic Watercooler