December 26, 2013
Before there was life as we know it, there were molecules. And after many seemingly unlikely steps these molecules underwent a magnificent transition: they became complex systems with the capability to reproduce, pass along information and drive chemical reactions.
But the host of steps leading up to this transition has remained one of science’s beloved mysteries — until now.
New research suggests that the building blocks of life — prebiotic molecules — may form in the atmospheres of planets, where the dust provides a safe platform to form on and various reactions with the surrounding plasma provide enough energy necessary to create life.