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New 1st-Time Discovery of Key Building Block for Life in the Universe

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  • derhexer@aol.com
    URL to a post on The Daily Galaxy _http://tinyurl.com/8rpmzc9_ (http://tinyurl.com/8rpmzc9) Scientists have found sugar around a Sol-type star. (Someone tell
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2012
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      URL to a post on The Daily Galaxy
      _http://tinyurl.com/8rpmzc9_ (http://tinyurl.com/8rpmzc9)

      Scientists have found sugar around a Sol-type star.

      (Someone tell the candy companies!)

      First few paragraphs
      A team of astronomers using _the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter
      Array (ALMA)_
      (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/08/image-of-the-day-the-rho-ophiuchi-nebula-a-clue-to-origin-of-earths-key-molecules.html) has
      spotted sugar molecules in the gas surrounding a young _Sun-like star_
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_analog) . This is the first time sugar been
      found in space around such a star, and the discovery shows that the building
      blocks of life are in the right place, at the right time, to be included in
      planets forming around the star. Sugar is the common name for a range of
      small carbohydrates (molecules containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen,
      typically with a hydrogen:oxygen atomic ratio of 2:1, as in water).
      The astronomers found molecules of glycolaldehyde — a simple form of sugar
      [1] — in the gas surrounding a young binary star, with similar mass to the
      Sun, called IRAS 16293-2422. _Glycolaldehyde_
      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycolaldehyde) has been seen in interstellar space before [2], but this
      is the first time it has been found so near to a Sun-like star, at
      distances comparable to the distance of Uranus from the Sun in the Solar System.
      This discovery shows that some of the chemical compounds needed for life
      existed in this system at the time of planet formation.
      “In the disc of gas and dust surrounding this newly formed star, we found
      glycolaldehyde, which is a simple form of sugar, not much different to the
      sugar we put in coffee,” explains Jes Jørgensen (_Niels Bohr Institute_
      67472222,12.5713333333 (Niels%20Bohr%20Institute)&t=h) , Denmark), the lead
      author of the paper. “This molecule is one of the ingredients in the
      formation of RNA, which — like DNA, to which it is related — is one of the
      building blocks of life.”

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