Life Found in Space?

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) announced the discovery of a complex molecule important to life in the  Sagittarius B2 cloud: Iso-propyl cyanide.   Other complex organic molecules such as ethyl formate vinyl alcohol have been located in space. However, iso-propyl cyanide is the first with a branched carbon backbone, a feature similar to the amino acids that form the protein “building blocks” of life.

NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has uncovered a striking population of young stellar objects in a complex of dense, dark clouds in the southern constellation of Circinus.

(A Molecular Cloud similar to Sagittarius B. Image Credit: NASA)


Molecule model

(Computer generated ball-and-stick model of iso-propyl cyanide. Image Credit: M. Koerber/BBC)

Read more about the discovery at BBC.

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