Scientists have found organic materials, sugars, and some other molecules considered amino acid precursors in both meteorites and comets, but until now, no proteins had been found inside an alien object .
That’s at least what Harvard researchers suggest , in collaboration with others from Plex Corporation and Bruker Scientific LLC. If the findings are confirmed, the discovery will add another piece to the puzzle surrounding the development of life on Earth.
The protein found, called hemolithin, was small and composed mainly of glycine and amino acids and was inside the Acfer 086 meteorite, which was found in Algeria in 1990.
For hemolithin to have formed naturally in the found configuration, the glycine would be required to form first, perhaps on the surface of the space dust grains. Although chains of amino acids have been discovered in the past, none were sufficiently organized to be a complete protein.
Proteins are considered essential elements for the development of living things, and finding one in a meteorite reinforces theories that suggest that life, or something very close to it, came to Earth from another place in space .
Once again, it seems that the chemical elements and structures necessary for life seem to be everywhere in the universe.