• Question: what bio molecular structures are in space

    Asked by mankaran Sandhu to Andrew, Ian, Kathryn, Leah-Nani, Xu on 20 Jun 2018.
    • Photo: Kathryn Burrows

      Kathryn Burrows answered on 20 Jun 2018:

      Biomolecular structures are molecules associated with DNA, RNA or proteins which are a key signature of life. I know it would be a great sign that life exists on other planets if we could find some in space but I do not believe any evidence has been found of them yet.

    • Photo: Leah-Nani Alconcel

      Leah-Nani Alconcel answered on 20 Jun 2018:

      No biomolecules (DNA/RNA/proteins) have been found in space. There are some much smaller molecules that are considered to be “biomarkers”, such as methyl chloride, that form when biomolecules break down. Some of these have been detected in space, but no one has confirmed that they were produced by decomposing biomolecules.

    • Photo: Andrew Margetts-Kelly

      Andrew Margetts-Kelly answered on 21 Jun 2018:

      we’ve not found any yet, hopefully one day we will. We’ve found organic compounds, but it’s a huge leap to go from complex carbon based molecules to hard evidence of biological life