NASA scientists reproduce 3 key life components

L-R: Ames scientists Michel Nuevo, Christopher Materese and Scott Sandford reproduce uracil, cytosine, and thymine, three key components of our hereditary material, in the laboratory. (NASA/ Dominic Hart)

“We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, cytosine, and thymine, all three components of RNA and DNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space,” said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

Scientists in space-like conditions lab deposited an ice sample containing pyrimidine on a cold substrate to discover that such approach produces these essential ingredients of life. The molecule pyrimidine is found in meteorites, although scientists still do not know its origin.

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