Organic compounds in Antarctic space dust

John Matson, in an article on, has written about extraterrestrial dust containing prebiotic compounds (compounds which, in the right conditions, could potentially form simple single cell organisms). The following is an excerpt from the article:

A new analysis in the May 7 issue of Science comes from a France-based team working at Antarctica's Concordia base that uncovered well-preserved meteorite samples from beneath the surface. The researchers dug up snow from decades past, which fell before the site had a potentially contaminating human presence. Therein they found so-called micrometeorites—tiny specks just a fraction of a millimeter across that nonetheless carry important clues to the birth and evolution of the solar system.

The appearance of new life forms whether terrestrial, extra-terrestrial or synthesized in a lab, provide possibilities for a range of stories for cinema and fiction. The life forms could be useful, harmful, controlled by a select few, widely dispersed and beyond the control of governments, etc.

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