Monday, December 1, 2008

Life Sugar in the Galaxy

A molecule called glycolaldehyde, which helps build Ribonucleic acid (RNA), a key ingredient in many abiogenesis hypotheses, has been discovered in a potentially habitable region of our galaxy.

"This is an important discovery as it is the first time glycolaldehyde, a basic sugar, has been detected towards a star-forming region where planets that could potentially harbor life may exist," Serena Viti of University College London said in a press release.

"The discovery of an organic sugar molecule in a star forming region of space is very exciting and will provide incredibly useful information in our search for alien life,” said Keith Mason, chief executive of the England’s Science and Technology Facilities Council.

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