A RECIPE FOR PREBIOTIC METABOLISM

The notion that the raw materials for life—perhaps even life itself—simply fell from the sky has been batted about for decades. In this view, organic matter—known to exist in interstellar clouds of gas and dust—was brought to Earth by asteroids, comets, stardust, or other cosmic bodies crashing into our young planet. The extraterrestrial influx of ready-made molecules could have seeded the barren world with the organic ingredients needed to get biology rolling.

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