Is There DNA in Space?



We have been finding evidence of life inside meteorites for many years now. One of the ways to find it is identifying the DNA  or the building blocks of life in space or within the objects from space – e.g. meteorites, planets, etc. This was the approach of the Primordial Soup Theory, introduced by Alexander Oparin. It revolved around the idea of abiogenesis, which is the process of living matter evolving from self-replicating but non-living molecules. The prebiotic ocean was hypothesized to be like a hot dilute soup containing the ingredients that facilitated the evolution of life on Earth. The ocean’s characteristics were like a cooking soup (recipe of life) at that time because the planet had just formed not more than thousands of years ago, and the initial high volcanic nature had still left the earth lingering in the hot-cooling phase.

There are a lot many theories revolving around the origin of life, but in order to get in the trenches, we need to preserve what was randomly created over a period of Eons. For this, we humans have tried to preserve our DNA in a time capsule in space.

The Immortality Drive is a large memory device which was taken to the International Space Station in a Soyuz spacecraft on October 12, 2008.

The Immortality Drive contains digitized DNA sequences of a select group of humans, such as physicist Stephen Hawking, comedian Stephen Colbert, Playboy model Jo Garcia, game designer Richard Garriot, fantasy authors Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman, pro wrestler Matt Morgan, and athlete Lance Armstrong. The way we as a generation have preserved our DNA, is it possible that any other life form has done the same? NASA-funded researchers have evidence that some building blocks of DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions for life, found in meteorites were likely created in space. Recently Christopher Carr, a research scientist in MIT has developed a DNA sequencer that will one day be useful in analyzing the soil and ice samples from space.

So, the struggle to find the source of life will continue in years to come. Most theories still revolving around the existing data available, which is reasonably accurate. But, what if what we see and have been seeing is just the periphery of the whole event? Or worse, are we even looking within the same boundaries where the answers to our origin lie?

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