Scientists have discovered derivatives of life’s building blocks in carbon-rich meteorite samples, a first.

They also showed how biological compounds can form in interstellar space. These new findings support the theory that life on Earth originated with help from cosmic impacts.

Sugars and sugar derivatives are essential to life on Earth. But they, along with amino acids and other organic molecules, can be found in space as well, on asteroids and comets. Scientists have suggested that objects in space may have fallen to Earth and delivered the compounds that would spark biological processes on our planet.

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