Are We the Aliens?

April 5, 2023

The presence of life on Earth is both a unique facet of our world and also a peculiarity when compared to the rest of the universe. We’ve been on the hunt for signs of lifeforms existing across other planets, systems and galaxies, yet we aren’t entirely sure about how our own origins on Earth came to be.

Scientists believe that all beings on Earth have evolved from a common life-form dating back 3.9 billion years, though it begs the question: where did that original life-form come from? When proposing an answer to this question, Asteroid Ryugu becomes a point of interest due to a recent discovery: two organic compounds that are crucial to the formation of intelligent life via samples of the asteroid. Scientists found uracil and niacin alongside fifteen amino acids – uracil is a building block for RNA, niacin is essential for the metabolism of intelligent organisms, and amino acids form proteins. Furthermore, across three meteorites, researchers have been able to find all five nucleobases for RNA and DNA so it poses the possibility that life on Earth may be extraterrestrial. 

With the constant lookout for exoplanets (planets similar to our Earth) which could sustain intelligent life, asteroids like Ryugu puzzle the scientific community regarding the origins of life on earth or whether we could be from farther away in the universe. It also demonstrates the complex intricacies of life compositions as these compounds create intelligent life via RNA, DNA and proteins, truly showing how special we are on Earth to withhold the precise combination to support life as we haven’t had the luck to find it anywhere else so far. 

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