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3D Atom Mapping Brings Light to the Origins of Life

Scientists have studied molecules on magnetite grains in a 4.5 billion year old meteorite, in an effort to determine whether or not the oldest molecular fluids in the universe could support the development of amino acids — and therefor life. In order to do this, they have used a new technique called tomography, or 3D atom mapping. Here’s more from Engadget:

While researchers have long known that water was present in the early Solar System, this is the first direct evidence showing the chemistry and acidity of that water. It’s also promising for the future of space exploration. The researchers hope to devise methods for studying extraterrestrial samples going forward, whether they’re from asteroids or Mars, and save space agencies from making unnecessary trips to collect more data.

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