By the end of this century, says astrophysicist Martin Rees, we should be able to ask whether or not we live in a multiverse, and how much variety of the laws of physics its constituent ‘universes’ display. The answer to this question, says Rees, “will determine how we should interpret the ‘biofriendly’ universe in which we live (sharing it with any aliens with whom we might one day make contact).”
This week’s “Heard in the Milky Way” episode, narrated by dailygalaxy.com founder, Val Landi, takes you on a journey with two stories that change our knowledge of Planet Earth, our Galaxy, and the vast cosmos beyond.
“Other important building blocks of life have been found in meteorites previously, including amino acids (components of proteins) and nucleobases (components of DNA and RNA), but sugars have been a missing piece among the major building blocks of life,” said Yoshihiro Furukawa of Tohoku University, Japan about the discovery. “The research provides the first direct evidence of ribose in space and the delivery of the sugar to Earth. The extraterrestrial sugar might have contributed to the formation of RNA on the prebiotic Earth which possibly led to the origin of life.”
The discovery of the language of life, an ancient, long molecule called DNA with eight nucleotide letters suitable for storing and transmitting information, was a breakthrough in our knowledge of the range of possibilities necessary for life on Earth and beyond. Now, new studies suggest that alternatives to DNA-based life, as we know it on Earth, may be possible on other worlds.
The “Planet Earth Report” connects you to headline news on the science, technology, discoveries, and events changing our planet and the future of the human species.