(ORDO NEWS) — Japanese researchers have discovered 20 amino acids in samples from an asteroid for the first time. Now everyone is queuing to get a piece of the asteroid.
Up to 40 scientific proposals were accepted from research groups around the world. Everyone lines up to get a piece of the asteroid that hides the ingredients that make life possible.
Offers came from nine countries who requested 74 samples, representing 230 milligrams of the total asteroid samples collected.
A spacecraft called Hayabusa2 returned a sample capsule containing material collected from the Ryugu-type C asteroid to Earth in December 2020. The Japanese researchers then identified 20 amino acids in the samples.
Amino acids are the molecules that make up proteins and are the building blocks of life. These molecules are essential for living beings as they help break down food, grow, repair body tissues, and perform a number of other bodily functions. They can also be used by the body as an energy source.
These amino acids have previously been found in asteroids that hit Earth. However, they were barely able to be detected, as they were lost when entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
The discovery of these key ingredients confirms the presence of organic material in these remnants from the creation of the solar system.
Following the discovery, the research teams were asked to submit a scientific proposal requesting that sample fragments be released for scheduled analysis by April 22, 2022.
The Ryugu Design Open Competition Committee discussed applications from 12 countries and selected 40 proposals, which were then approved by the Hayabusa2 Design Distribution Committee on June 13, 2022.
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