Is all the DNA on Earth right-handed thanks to cosmic particles?

Science is bursting with wild ideas that are still unproven. But how convincing are they? Did cosmic particles give DNA a twist?

Is all the DNA on Earth right-handed thanks to cosmic particles?

There is something troubling about all the people, animals, plants and even the microbes on Earth.At first glance, they appear normal, but on the inside, they all have the same anomaly: the molecular building blocks are almost without exception left-handed, and the heredity molecule DNA invariably twists clockwise, as if the architect of life could only think of staircases that twist in one direction.

Astrophysicists Noémie Globus and Roger Blandford come up with a new theory to explain that conundrum: lightning-fast flying radiation particles from the cosmos, which hit Earth every day and are themselves left-handed, gave the DNA of the earliest life forms a push toward one direction of rotation, they wrote last year in The Astrophysical Journal.

Globus and Blandford’s idea is therefore “extraordinary” and “exciting,” says University of Groningen professor of chemistry Nathalie Katsonis, who is connected to the Origins Center and also investigating the mysterious molecular rotation of life.

Read the whole article via De Volkskrant

Volkskrant: Ronald Veldhuizen, 8 januari 2021

News

Written by

Aaike van Oord

Published:

February 24, 2021

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