DNA components found in meteorites
August 11th, 2011
09:17 AM ET

DNA components found in meteorites

NASA researchers have found the building blocks of DNA, the genetic molecule that is essential to all life forms, in meteorites, pieces of space rock that have fallen to Earth. The discovery suggests that similar meteorites and comets may have impacted Earth and assisted in life formation here.

With minimal chance for contamination of the meteorite samples, scientists are confident that these meteorite specimens were formed in space. “People have been discovering components of DNA in meteorites since the 1960's, but researchers were unsure whether they were really created in space or if instead they came from contamination by terrestrial life,” Michael Callahan, lead author of the study on the discovery, said in a statement.

The research team analyzed twelve carbon rich meteorites, nine of which were from Antarctica, to positively identify the basic elements of the chemical compounds they extracted from the samples. Testing revealed adenine and guanine, two fundamental components of DNA called nucleobases.

DNA is shaped like a double helix, or twisted ladder, and the rungs of that ladder are each comprised of two nucleobases, either a pairing of adenine and thymine or of guanine and cytosine. The ladder is essentially a long string of genetic code that tells cells in an organism which proteins to make. Those proteins then play critical roles in organism growth and function, making everything from hair to enzymes.

Scientists also found hypoxanthine and xanthine, two other chemicals used in biological processes and found in muscle tissue.

The meteorites also contained trace amounts of three molecules associated with nucleobases, called nucleobase analogs, but two of those are almost never seen in biology, providing the necessary proof that these DNA components were actually created in outer space.

In fact the only record of any of these nucleobases in biologic processes is within a virus.  Callahan said in the NASA press release that “if asteroids are behaving like chemical 'factories' cranking out prebiotic material, you would expect them to produce many variants of nucleobases, not just the biological ones, due to the wide variety of ingredients and conditions in each asteroid,” and that is exactly what these researchers found. He says the nucleobases found, biological or not, can also be created in a lab setting, using the basic compounds hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and water.

This finding contributes further to the growing collection of evidence that asteroids and comets are comprised of the proper chemicals to generate the building blocks of life. Some seem to have the ideal internal chemistry for the job.

“In fact, there seems to be a ‘goldilocks’ class of meteorites,” Callahan said in a statement, “the so called CM2 meteorites, where conditions are just right to make more of these molecules.”

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Filed under: Discoveries • News
soundoff (859 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Adenine decomposes at 360 degrees celsius...when meteorites fall to the ground, they get much hotter than this...any amino acids on this rock should have already decomposed/evaporated from the meteorites shortly after they enter the atmosphere

    ...am I missing something?

    August 12, 2011 at 3:06 am |
  2. John B

    Eat it?!

    August 12, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  3. Dino

    The purpose of creation and life has finally been solved. Now lets get back to some raunchy reality television.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  4. Steve

    CNN can't even draw those chemical structures correctly. Look at the valence of the atoms on those purine rings (nucleobases). For example: The carbon-oxygen bond on the rings should be double (carbonyl) not single, making the adjacent carbon-nitrogen bonds single rather than double. What a bunch of retards. And like others have pointed out, this is not DNA, just bases. They're missing sugars, phosphates, and, most importantly they'd need to be in the form of polymers linked via phosphodiester bonds.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  5. Dah Bearss

    What rubbish. This propaganda is titled DNA discovered in meteorites, but goes on to say that a chemical that is also found in DNA has been linked to meteorites, and that scientists are "confident" of that. This crap makes meashamed to call myself a scientist. That's like saying I think I found ink on a rock from space so I'll conclude that The grapes of wrath originated in space, or that Boeing 747 came from meteorites because I think I found a metal common to both. This pseudoscience trash should be derided. DNA is far more complex than just a base, is highly structured, and encodes INFORMATION.

    August 12, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  6. evil scientist

    Sweet Lord, Deep sequence it! – we are about to discover the molecular basis of god!!!!

    August 12, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • GeorgeB

      lol ... sounds like some of the drivel Chopra churns out, the God Molecule and such.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  7. GeorgeB

    Do a bit of reading about Quantum Physics, interesting stuff that seems to hint some zen philosophy is not as far-fetched as "modern" society thinks. I find both fundamentalist religious zealots and atheists to be two sides of an amusing, inflexible, dogmatic coin. To believe in medieval fairy tales, or to be so arrogant to assert there is poitively no chance there are cosmic wonders we do not yet comprehend, is almost equally void of reason.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  8. rushd

    In the Qur'an, Allah reveals that the creation of the human is a miracle. The first human being was created by Allah shaping clay into human form and breathing a soul into it:
    Your Lord said to the angels, "I am going to create a human being out of clay. When I have formed him and breathed My Spirit into him, fall down in prostration to him!" (Qur'an, 38:71-72)
    Then inquire of them: Is it they who are stronger in structure or other things We have created? We created them from sticky clay. (Qur'an, 37:11)
    When the human body is examined today, it may be discovered that many elements present on the earth are also to be found in the body. Living tissues contain 95% carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur, with a total of 26 different elements. In another verse of the Qur'an we are told:
    We created man from an extract of clay. (Qur'an, 23:12)
    The Arabic word "sulala," translated as "extract" in the verse, means "representative example, essence." As we have seen, the information revealed in the Qur'an 1,400 years ago confirms what modern science tells us-the fact that the same elements are employed in human creation as those found in the soil

    August 12, 2011 at 2:50 am |
    • GeorgeB

      A bit of a stretch. Don't understand why followers of the three major monotheistic religions go to such efforts to try to take ancient stories / fables aka their holy scriptures and reconcile with modern science. I can accept that there is some element of organized religion that attempts to understand the sacred, to be good stewards of this planet, and hints towards a unifying theory of the universe ... but beyond that ... dogma, rhetoric and intolerance is what I see.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:04 am |
  9. Phil

    It doesn't sound like anyone caught the main idea in this story.
    We all know millions of years ago the earth was hit with millions of meteors. If they were carrying out of space DNA then the aliens we are desperately seeking are US.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  10. stormsun

    Well said.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  11. EddieZoeyFan

    The same scientists also found traces of a Snickers bar on the same meteorites. Dumbshits!

    August 12, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  12. Fred S.

    Basically, AA, who cares. O.K., you found a few nucleotides on some goddam meteorite. That's like going to the moon and finding aluminum and deciding that proves the moon used to be the earth, or someting. Right? Pelagebacter ubique, which is the only reason there is any oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere at all, has existed in the ocean for what, three billion years? No attempt to completely explain its DNA has yet been published. Instead the USGOV wants to throw more billions out the window on a few idiotic molecules on some stupid asteroid. I mean you don't even know what's on this goddam planet! Either you're here or you don't exist. Nobody from this country is going to discover anything in outer space, and if they did, they'd probably contaminate it and destroy it. O.K., here are the three principles of American scientific research – AA, AA, and AA. You is done gone be broke, man. P.S. the Moon is the "Twin" of Mercury.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Steve

      For such a wildly, funny rant.. there's some truth in it.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:40 am |
  13. Wicket

    Funny how some people will say, "yeah, maybe it lead to the development of..." apes, but not humans.
    Or, maybe science can explain some things, but the things that aren't explained must be GOD, as if science isn't ever-learning.
    Why not just, if you absolutely have to have a Goddish-type reason to accept science, look to the Vatican scientists? The Vatican has a great science department and understands that you can mesh science and theology easily.
    Some of you might have to look up the word "theology", as your grandaddy and local preacher probably doesn't use that term in conversation or in brimstone chats.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Steve

      I'll leave you with one thing to think about, and them I'm out. I'm the type of person that believes in God (or a higher power if you prefer not to name names), because of things I look at in the world and think about with my own eyes. There are some cool things in the Bible, don't get me wrong. Like Leviathan, Behemoth, Ezekiel's wheel, etc, and there are inspirational stores in it as well, but from my science mind, I like at the physics of this world, and I think about numbers, and odds, and math, and chemistry, and I look at nature, and the complexity of our bodies and how they manage to function the way they do, and I can't help but see intelligent design. The odds of all of this happening by chance just seem so astronomical, that I can't bite into the "accident" theory. And here's the one thing that always seems to trump every theoretical idea about evolving gradually into what we are: I met a man once, who was schooled in theology, an ordained minister, a tree hugger, kayaker, granola eating, earth loving, liberal, and believer in God. Crazy huh? It's true though. He looked like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood. He was pretty amazing, and I could listen to his theological and scientific reasoning for hours sitting around a camp fire and drinking beer. Towards the end of his story about how he came to his conclusions after struggling for a long time with his beliefs, he said this, "I always found it hard to swallow evolving slowly into the amazingly complex machines that we are today. And one day I had a thought that made me realize that it had to be non-sense, at least for me. I asked myself how could we possibly evolved from non-seeing little creatures that crawled out of the ocean, to having such complex eyes that can not only see, but see in color and 3D? Because, you cannot simply just go poof and evolve into having eyes overnight. Yet, you also cannot slowly form parts of eyes if your little body doesn't have a place for eyes nor know the need for eyes. How would eyes create themselves on a body without eyes? Did they develop optic nerves first, but nothing else? What would be the purpose? Did they then develop the globe of the eye, but not the rods, cones, corneas or retinas? How the hell would a body know it needed eyes? When did the skull create sockets for the eyes? It makes no sense that eyes would either come to be overnight, nor would they form in bits and pieces. They must have been created."

      My jaw was on the floor when he said this to me. Who thinks about things like that? But he is right, and if you know anything about evolving and the body, you know it's a very very "eye opening" point.

      Think about it.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:16 am |
      • Steve

        Disregard typos, I'm tired. Already see several.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:17 am |
      • waf98

        Steve, no offense, but your description of how evolution would have had to work shows that you don't understand evolution and how it is theorized to work. If you're a scientist, you know better.

        August 12, 2011 at 11:12 am |
      • super

        So then, waf98, kindly describe Evolution to me.

        August 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  14. JPG

    No real DNA was actually found. Just the building blocks of DNA, which apparently are expect to for under such environmental conditions.. The tittle of this article is all wrong. And the theory of this DNA planting the seed of life (in response to some person who posted a question about it) probibly refers to the meteorite containing some form of viable life form such as a small bacteria, which perhaps in a sporical form could survive a travel through space. Although unlikely, even 1 viable bacterium could thrive n proliferate in the proper environment. After the bacteria replicates mutations are made randomly and through a process we'll call "survival of the fitess" higher level species can further adapt to their surroundings through adaptations.. And BOOM here we are. Thoughts n emotions probibly stemmed from traits originally created to help us survive, the ability to think on a higher level allowed us to hunt, have tools, clothes we use to personally adapt to environments we werent suited for, and then one day some extra smart dude made up morals and taxes.. And then an even smarter dude made tax brackets for the poor n wealthy. And theirs the theory of life on earth being seed by a rock in space. Read Charles darwin and
    Mendel (he had a bunch pea plants n he lived in a monastery.. It's a real deliteful story that ultimately helps support darwins beliefs). If u look up LaMark (if that's how you spell his name, maybe lemark) ull discovery how support ppl are and if u read about something called spontaneous generation.. It's all true (small joke). Peace.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  15. Timmy

    is this meterite evil? my mom says it is a trick 2 kill us.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:11 am |
  16. Your Name or My Name


    One million years ago a rock was launched into space by some person or thing from another Earth far more advanced from ours. Today, it just happened to make its way into our Earth safely. Then this unique rock, which we call a meteorite, was discovered by a scientist who believed it could answer all of his unanswered questions.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • Fat Cat

      I love your creativity. 🙂

      August 12, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  17. Timmy

    hi. my mom told me god made meterite 2 trick people 2 beleive lies made by scyentists who want 2 kill us. this is scarry.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      Not sure this is a joke or not. If not... Timmy, could you put your mom on the phone for a second please?

      August 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Timotheos Treciokas

      I agree with Peter, hello peter its Tim Treciokas I found the article :), you are an absolute idiot or a fake.
      Timmy, give me an email or facebook or something, so I can learn you on the origin of the species.
      Or put me in contact with your mum as she seems the more suffocating and close-minded.

      September 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Wicket

    Oh no!
    More science proving that some mysterious old man in the clouds didn't snap his fingers and create the garden of Eden! Gee, what sort of reaction would anyone with a modicum of intelligence predict from this?
    The bible-thumpers are upset. Science is the devil's work.

    August 12, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Sharp

      Maybe the whole thing was way more subtle than that. A being vaster than the universe & stranger than any Sci Fi Alien Monster set this universe spinning billions of years ago for reasons known only to him/her/itself & sat back to watch the fun.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:19 am |
      • Wicket

        As science-minded as I am, I can get behind this idea. Essentially the Vatican's stance, even though I'm not really Catholic anymore.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Steve

      It proves nothing. That's the point. Trying too hard to find proof of a cosmic chemical accident that created morons that can walk on two legs and talk, is just as bad as trying to prove that it's all divine creation. Neither can be proven. It's about looking at all sides and then deciding for yourself. You are a good case for what I was talking about. The smart ass "reaction" from you pretending to have the "most" intelligent answer with that arrogant attitude is just a front anyway. You don't know the answers anymore than me or anyone else. You just want people to believe you do. Acting macho is really not as becoming as you think it is. By the way, are you a sport, a Java applet or an Ewok?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • bobby

      The Bible says dust you are dust you will return. So they found the building blocks of life in rocks. The Bible said that thousands of years ago. You and your scientist are late.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:38 am |
      • Steve

        See, I like that, too. THAT'S meshing science and theology together. Maybe the Bible is an eloquent and antiquated writing of scientific events. Maybe it's sometimes more literal than what many Christians think it is. Why do a lot of people ignore the very amazing and yet significant things in the Bible like Leviathan and Behemoth, or Ezekiel's wheel, or the burning bush, or that perhaps give credence to Biblical events such as there being over 500 flood stories from different cultures in history? How many people ever think that maybe stuff happens, and people document it, even if it is in the form of the Bible which happens to combine both the views of spiritualism or faith, and that of historical events and/or scientific events? Why can't the Bible be a container for some scientific answers, just like any current text book written by the hand of imperfect humans? It can go on and on.... it just takes a little bit of brain power, honest feelings and an open mind.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  19. Steve

    @ Alosha, Questions for Atheists and Sharp: Bravo to you for adding some truly intelligent thought to this thread. I'll be even more impressed if one or more of you isn't even sure you believe in a "higher power" and yet, still have the wisdom to not necessarily argue against it because you use logical reasoning. Way too many people either just believe something or don't believe in anything, and can't really give you a "rational" reason why. Nothing is more impressive than those who can generally view things from both sides of the fence and weigh the answers to form their "very own" conclusion vs what they have been taught or told by someone else. You guys are the only type that keep me remotely interested in reading posts on any CNN article.

    @ Kazz... is it REALLY that exciting, this news? From this article, we don't even know if they cracked the rock open and found this "evidence" in the middle, or if it was embedded in the outer crust. And even then, as Alosha stated, it really means diddly squat (not his/her exact words). Scientists like these always get excited over little finds and then hype the hellsinky out of them, because why waste a 6-figure education and their scholastic belief system. Plus.. scientists and engineers are never wrong (Sarcasm). Trust me, I know a few of them. And I almost was one (until I said, "Screw Calculus!").

    August 12, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      Dude, I think you would have had half,,ah, a quarter is fairl.. a quarter the chance of ppl actually believing your nonsense that you almost became a scientist if you didn't feel the need to inform us you were paraphrasing with the diggly-squat.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  20. Mack Truck

    Huge nerds are posting here.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • lol

      They're here to check out Youranus

      August 12, 2011 at 2:00 am |
    • Steve

      And guys with inferiority complexes that probably picked on nerds in high school.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 am |
  21. Anon

    So we have a really cool scientific finding. The religious sheep come out of the woodwork in defense, as if threatened, of their precious beliefs and my fellow atheists snobbishly try to turn this into a "I told you so!" when it's not, or spout off the obvious facts of reality. Carry on!

    August 12, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • David_Forr341

      Yes, but where do those of us who find these scientific explanations as nonsensical and ridiculous as those offered by religion fit in? Granted, religion is a man-made construct that allowed the unknowing to explain the unexplainable... but our science is rudementary and riddled with error when it comes to formulating any type of advanced analysis. I don't hang out with the atheist community because they spend all their bandwidth fighting the religious community instead of trying to prove their purported religion: that there is no God. However, I believe you can subscribe to the idea of a divine Creator who cannot be explained with this blunt instrument called science. I can't prove it, of course...but I can feel it. Science can't prove that I feel it but I know that I do. I don't feel compelled to explain why I feel something that atheists can't. Just lucky I guess. If science ever does provide a solid counter-argument for "accidental" creation, I'm all ears. But last I heard, science can't even create the most simple form of life in a lab. What's up with that?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:14 am |
      • ?????

        To call atheism a religion is to call not playing the violin a talent. The reason why atheists do not put forth evidence to support the stance that there is no god is because it is not necessary. Why is this?

        Why is it necessary to prove something to not exist? The burden of proof is upon those who insist something exists. To attempt to proof that something did not exist, one would have to examine every speck of the universe. To prove that something exists, one just needs to provide one solid piece of evidence.

        As for your claim that scientists cannot create life in a laboratory, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2981138/Scientist-creates-first-man-made-cell.html

        August 12, 2011 at 2:30 am |
      • @?????

        "Why is it necessary to prove something to not exist?"
        here is why: Remember the "ether" theory?...the experiment that proved the "ether" does not exist made possible the discovery that the spped of light is a constant independent of an observer state of motion.
        But your problem is that you cannot prove that what you do not believe to exist does not exist, because its unprovable!...and thats what drives atheists crazy!

        August 12, 2011 at 5:40 am |
      • Peter Grenader

        OK, let e get this straight. Either you denounce science over Adam and Eve.... or you're an atheist. Really?


        August 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
      • ?????

        The point of my question was to reveal that things are allowed to be assumed to not exist. Without direct (or indirect) observation, it is wrong to say something exists. Because religion insists that there is a god, it is logical that they provide proof. The aether theory assumed that if aether existed, _____,______, and ________ would be observed. Because these things were not observed, it is logical to conclude that the theory is incorrect. The intent of the experiment was to test the hypothesis and to reach a conclusion. That's how logic works. You say, "Okay, if _______exists, then_______ will happen." And if that second _______ does not happen, then your hypothesis is incorrect.

        My overall point was that the burden of proof is upon religion, not upon atheists.

        August 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  22. David

    To everyone in the field of research, continue searching for the answers to the mysteries of the universe and our very own existence, keep up the good work. Those who cannot accept "intelligent design", my preference being GOD, normally have no theory at all because they can't believe that which they can't see. Faith is easily defined, but how can we describe it to one without it? As you walk, there is never a single thought given as to whether your legs or feet will support you. You have an unconditional belief that they will. On creation here's food for thought! GOD and man in the dessert. Man tells GOD, we have evolved and I can create anything that you can. GOD reaches down, picks up a hand full of dirt, creates a man. Man reaches down, and GOD says, hold on, make your own dirt! Great discussion folks. GOD BLESS!!!

    August 12, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • barnboy

      Is god supposed to be completely CAPITALIZED?????

      August 12, 2011 at 2:07 am |
  23. Anon

    They have found his noodly appendages in meteorites. Hail the flying spaghetti monster!

    August 12, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • stormsun

      Pastafarians unite.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:56 am |
  24. Mr glass 1/2 empty

    If god exist then he will bring the apocalpse upon us. If higher intelligent beings exist they will invade the indignous species(humans) . Either way we lose 🙁

    August 12, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Dharma_Initiative

      Yes, but we're really a despicible, sorry life form; a cancer on this planet, actually. Look what we're doing to each other (can you say 'Syria, Libya, Lebanon or Somalia'? I knew you could!) How do you like China's record on human rights? The global economy is now approaching the brink but our focus is on Casey Anthony and Kim Kardashian. Is Rome burning again? I can hear the violins!! Seriously... look around at this world. If you were God, would you save us? How can you have the audacity to think that we, as a species, deserve to survive? Probably won't take long now.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  25. evil conservative

    I believe J.Lo is a space alien because she is heavenly.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • lol

      I believe Afroman is in space because he got high.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:49 am |
    • Sharp

      Two massive moons orbit her @nus.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  26. frtyui

    You are all gay.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:44 am |
  27. Daniel

    With the DNA found on Meteorites we can finally determine who killed the Dinosaurs.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • stormsun

      We will finally have proof – it was the space aliens that built the pyramids and lived on the island of Atlantis before it sank into the sea.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  28. kazz

    This is very exciting!

    August 12, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  29. williamcowling


    August 12, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • ?????

      The money that was taken away from NASA is not going to go out of the space exploration pool. It will be going to help fund the private sector's endeavors towards space exploration. Please make sure your information is correct before spilling it out in stupidity.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Sharp

      The scientific & engineering firepower generated by NASA is well worth the money. Most of that stuff has direct military applications. The stuff that our military is building now in secret, god only knows what, things like stealth aircraft are the children of NASA research. Don't be such a simpleton.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • stormsun

      Scientific and military benefits have been mentioned, but we could fill this whole page with technology advancements directly resulting from the space program. It was a fantastic program that paid the U.S. back many times over. Only our short-sightedness has caused us to scale back the exploration of space to its sadly-reduced status. I guess we will leave it to the Chinese to explore and acquire the vast resources within our own solar system. It is as if Columbus approached the Spanish crown and asked for funding for a second trip to the New World after discovering the Americas, and they said, "Nah, you've already checked it out, and we've got a bunch of social programs that need funding...so we have decided to scrap the whole global exploration program."

      August 12, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      Sorry to see you've lost this much hope. it's sad.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  30. helenecha

    Thanks for sharing the news NASA scientists’ great discoveries. I’m happy to learn more from those facts. Besides, I’d like to say it made me feel that I'm being told there're quite a lot of men in Space. Sure thing, women are on Earth.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  31. Alosha

    Just because they were able to find a few of the ingredients present in dna doesn't mean that first of all that dna could be randomly created. Secondly, even if it could be randomly created, the odds that it would make enough sense to create a viable mono-cellular organism is tremendous, owing to the complexity of dna. Thirldy, all cells fit into two main categories prokaroyotic and eucaryotic and they require most of the same parts to function i.e. the odds that even one cell could be randomly created is astronomical. Fourthly, a single cell would still be no where near intelligent life. Conclusion= a few building blocks doesn't equal a skyscraper.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:23 am |
    • Shane

      You're right it doesn't. But at the same time it is a start to see other possibilties of how life started on Earth other than "God did it".

      The religious are always saying "then where did x, y, and z come from". Well we found a potential source for x, and this may also one day lead to y and z. The difference between religion and science is science is willing to admit that it is not all knowing, and attempts to learn while religion attempts to claim it is all knowing and discredit anything that contradicts it.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • stormsun

      Your comment indicates a lack of understanding of natural biological processes. There isn't anything "random" about it. Nature is infinitely patient (and I don't mean in the anthropological sense; I mean in the mathematical sense). So over thousands or millions of years, chance changes occur (this is probably where you get the word "random"). If these changes function in such a way that the organic compound functions better, it is replicated. Eventually – again over millions of years – the collection of organic material has become more complex; we might now consider it an "organism." What makes this process "not random" is that all of the iterations that didn't work well die. The ones that have an advantage pass along their structure, their code, their DNA. The point is, it takes millions of iterations to develop tiny improvements, but the test is survival and it is ultimately a dispassionate "pass or fail" barrier. It isn't random. There is a reason you have fingernails and toenails, although they may not be as essential as they once were. There is – or once was – a reason you have the vestigial organ we call the appendix. There is a reason you have an atrial appendage that no one understood for a very long time, but it turns out to have functions we did not appreciate until recently. None of it was random. The conditions that forced – the word "forced" is deliberate – certain developments may no longer be present, but if those changes (the appendix, etc) aren't actively detrimental to us in our current environment, it may take a very long time until they disappear. But there is nothing "random" about it. Something truly random would be like God choosing to save the populations of the Eastern Mediterranean, but not North and South America, East Asia, the continents of Africa and Australia and the islands of Polynesia, or the rest of Europe. Random would be like the stories humans make up to explain the world around them, which they don't understand, and then ascribing their stories to a supernatural entity who is never seen or heard, but who speaks (silently) to select, self-appointed spokesmen. Why the Creator of the entire universe would behave so randomly has never been addressed.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:22 am |
      • WeareallIgnorant

        great comment.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:58 am |
  32. pramod

    Oh Boy !! Aliens on the way..

    August 12, 2011 at 1:23 am |
  33. Question for atheists

    Who created mathematics which is information without "material" support? If mathematical truths exist without material support than can we conceive of "spiritual" life which does not need "matter" in order to exist? IT from BIT?

    August 12, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Sharp

      Whoever 'They' is; They say mathematics is the language of God. Probably the only reason I continue to cut the Muslims some slack is their magnificent heritage in mathematics.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • stormsun

      Pretty hard to conceive of something that is entirely immaterial, but acts upon the material world. Mathematics describes events in our world, it does not cause or control them.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:25 am |
      • Question for atheists

        And still the laws of physics are an "embodiement" of mathematics. In this sense someone could say that mathematics "causes" and "controls" the material world through the laws of physics. It is amazing to see how nature "obeys" mathematics, especially in quantum mechanics.

        August 12, 2011 at 5:26 am |
  34. yankerwank

    I bet if they test Al Gore's DNA, they find a partial match.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Steve

      Now that I will buy.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  35. pneutin

    The photo on the CNN site is not a time-lapse of a meteor shower. Like Waf98 has said, it is an extended exposure of star trails due to the earth's rotation. I know because I actually take these types of photos.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • yankerwank

      Thanks for the info, I thought it was some kind of global warming anomaly.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • McGuffin

      Yeah this article is all-around pretty crappy.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  36. Steve

    One thing's for sure, those cosmic, out-of-this-world DNA components definitely made it into the brains of some of you people posting comments on this article. – Emphasis on "cosmic" and "out-of-this-world".

    August 12, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  37. Fox Mulder

    I want to believe...

    August 12, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  38. Jokesterer

    Now we just have to figure out how these building blocks assembled themselves into an organism complete with energy processing, replication capabilities and a cell wall to hold it altogether.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:08 am |
    • Sharp

      The Lord God has all the time in the world to do what he will. He invented time.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:14 am |
      • stormsun

        Ask him to post a comment on these boards that all of us will instantly know is genuine.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • kyle

      True dat. It's really retarded to call these chemical processes part of the beginning of life. They are fairly simple chemicals, they are paired with hundreds of other simple chemicals that have significant chemical stability to not react. The fact dna or proteins can be "made" from these chemicals is a scientifically inconsequential fact that does not lend credibility to any abiogenesis claim.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:17 am |
    • Chris

      Chuck Norris created god from his toenail clippings.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:51 am |
      • McGuffin

        We know right away that's not true because Chuck Norris's toenails shatter toenail clippers on contact.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  39. Lost

    People can finally put to rest the idea that they originated from primates. Such hog-wash.

    August 12, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Sharp

      Consider this. If it pleased the Lord God to take billions of years of painstaking step by step work to finally be able to take that last step of creating man from an ape, who are you to dispute it? By what authority (other than your own) do you speak? Why would the word of an honest scientist be worth less than yours?

      August 12, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • McGuffin

      Humans ARE primates.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Peter Grenader

      Lost: Tell me you're kidding! This is merely high-level sarcasm way beyond my level of detection, right?

      SHarp: Put a lid on it, please.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  40. Lymond Crawford

    This article definitively proves existence of intelligent life on other planets and probably falling stars as well.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • MOCaseA

      I does nothing of the sort. It just proves that there are other sources for the creation of the basic building blocks of life, other than Earth and earth-like planets.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • McGuffin

      It also proves leprechauns.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  41. Kimi

    It's very sad to see how stereotypical both sides are being. A majority of the believers are being closed minded and judgemental. I believe the bible speaks against such acts. A majority of atheists are being hate mongering pricks and that makes the rest of us look not only ignorant, but like @ssholes. This is simply a discovery that has been made, not a soap box for either side to preach from. Science and faith are two different realms of thought, so why must everyone seem to bring them together?

    August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • MOCaseA

      It isn't all black and white you know. I for one am at least trying to be open minded, and open hearted, to both sides of the conversation. Of course, you can never truly get rid of the TROLLS, but then what would like be without a little excitement and irritation?

      August 12, 2011 at 1:00 am |


    August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • MOCaseA


      August 12, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  43. M-Theory

    I'm guessing that meteors did probably seed primordial earth causing life. So then there is a current way for life to spread throughout the universe. But how effective is this way? It took chance and billions of years to develop higher life forms capable of enduring. Is there a better way? Life, if it as a whole is adept at survival, capable or has any purpose, must continue at all costs.... it must evolve to create a way off its home planet. Planets never last but life must endure. If evolution incorporates long-term survival then 'smartest' thing that could evolve would be organisms that had desire to develop the technological capability to venture and seed other planets. Aka...man and his excitement and wonder of space to build a spaceship or other way of colonizing other plants. Seems like a better way to me than random meteors.....and maybe a natural way that all life on any planet ultimately evolves into.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  44. Zeus

    We probably in hell already
    Our dumb asses not knowing
    Everybody kissing ass to go to heaven ain't going
    Put my soul on it
    I'm fighting the devil daily
    Plus the media be crucifying the people severely


    August 12, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Sharp

      I could swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  45. Mick

    Oh oh oh I know.

    What is Pizza. Trace amounts of pizza. Yup that's the answer.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  46. Craig

    Y do so many people beleave these scientists about everything. So that means if I was a scientist and I said that there was evidence that the human brain is made from cow crap would u believe me. No but there is a god and even if u don't beleave in him rember he always loves and beleaves in u and about the Virgin Marry god created u so he can do as he pleases and needs not to ask. The reason that is he's the alpha and the omega the 1 true god and science can't prove that wrong

    August 12, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Asmadi

      You don't prove things wrong, you prove things right. And if you said there was cow crap in a persons head, all you would need to do to prove it is show me the inside of one persons head. Come to think of it, your post has convinced me some people's brains are cow pies.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • MOCaseA

      We don't "believe everything a scientist says" just because they say it. We believe them when they provide tangible and definable proof of the statement. Your statement implies a lack of intelligence on the part of those who turn to science to explain the unknown. However you also fail to punctuate, correctly spell, or even try to make a discernible point. If you are trying to convince, or even converse, you fail on all levels my friend.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Sharp

      People believe in science because it has done more to advance the happiness & welfare of humanity than all the prayers of all the churches, mosques & temples that ever were. Pray for the scientists. They use the great tool the creator gave us (our brains) to try & build a heaven on Earth.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:02 am |
    • Shane

      The reason people generally believe scientists is called science.

      There is actual evidence and proof of the research.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  47. mitch

    So, this is god. A small black rock trapped in the earth. Think I'll save some toilet paper and use that bible in my hotel room .... and I guess this means no virgins in the afterlife either. Darn.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  48. soup

    Wow. Insults online. Riveting.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  49. Sam

    I'm sure 1500 years from now people will laugh at the science of today just like we laugh at the science of 1500 years ago when they said the earth was flat. Far too many unanswered questions to even make the assumption that any of these claims are accurate. Plus the never ending question of "if this created that, then what created that... And so on and so on. That's why I laugh at the never ending battle between religion and science. What if, just what if you both are on the right path?

    August 12, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  50. Samantha

    I didn't read all the comments but it seems to me like no one is really thinking logically here. How many astronauts have died in space? What if the dna is from them? And even if that isn't possible because of the age of the meteorite, to believe that we might of evolved from a rock is insane. Ape, maybe. But if they prove the rock theory to be true it'll put a whole new meaning to the phrase 'dumb as a rock'.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • MOCaseA

      How many Astronauts have actually dies in space? None... So there goes your theory... Sorry.

      Since the history of spaceflight, there have been 18 deaths, and not a single one occurred outside our atmosphere.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • MOCaseA

      Also, "evolved from a rock" is a creationist statement. How about "evolved from a complex chemical reaction resulting in the formation of the basic building block of life as we know it." It would be more accurate.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  51. JohnLI

    Miss Foreman also writes about sports and politics. I'm sure she does not know the difference between an electron and a camshaft. Remember CNN is Ted Turner, they are not affiliated with the government, educational or science institutions. So you know what Forrest Gump said, "you never know what....."

    August 12, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  52. LJTurner

    Awesome article.

    It's so sad to read the comments here. Apparently education in the U.S. is based on creationism and any exciting scientific finding is found to be frightening to your preconceived ideas so you are convinced you must blast it with your ignorance.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Sharp

      The only Creationism I accept is the first spark that set the universe in motion. Past that God him/herself abides by the plan inherent in that spark. The only hope we have of understanding is thru science; the direct application of our brains. That is why God gave us those brains, to understand in the light of reason.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  53. BlinkWeAteToo

    interesting. always thought i had some meteor in me.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  54. mike from iowa

    Don't let George Bush find out about this, if he does, we'll be spending trillion of dollars looking for weapons of mass destruction in space because their's life out there.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:27 am |
  55. JehseaLynn

    @INVISIBLE EVIDENCED I agree with you completely. I constantly find that science and spiritual beliefs go synergystically, hand-in-hand, one solving the mysteries of the other. As regards creationism, I think, it is simplistic to believe we evolved from apes; so what that we share 98% DNA. We also share 97% DNA with a banana. And if we are evolved from apes- why are there STILL Great Apes, a species unto themselves? But this glorious NASA discovery ties in perfectly with Genesis, where the Bible opens upon a dark, void, and formless world. The divine light of the Cosmos was struck, the light came on, mattet exploded, and the myriad complex – and basic, simple, – processes of life...cell division, protons clinging to nrutrons to electrons – the building blocks of lifr swarmed the expanding universe impregnating planets whose characteristics completed the formula for life in the myriad forms we knoe. How amazing it is that the supercollider at CERN shows no matter how "small" we dig into particle physics – the matter is STILL THERE, ever tinier, but awesomely important. And it's mind-blowing that the scopes at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena and the Hubble telesxope show us no matter how BIG AND FAR we dream and search, the universe and it's quantum mechanics and physics secrets ARE STILL THERE TO BE DISCOVERED. We truly ARE made of stardust! "Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust..."

    August 12, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • WeareallIgnorant

      To answer your question on the great apes theory: Humans did not evolve directly from apes–but a common ancestor–that existed about 5 to 8 million years ago. Diverging in Africa, this species created two separate lineages that happened to be chimps and hominids–aka early humans. That is why modern great apes still exist today. It's a common misconception that many people seem to have with the evolution of our species–homo sapiens–and honestly it probably has to do with religious people skewing facts in order to try and prove their point better.

      August 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  56. MOCaseA

    It seems that every time a story comes out about the wonders of the universe it always breaks down into a religious debate that is frankly quite irritating. The recent discoveries and observations in science are flat out ignored by the religious right, and some of the valid questions by the religious right are ignored out of spite by the scientific left. Two common questions are asked by the right that are often ignored by the left. I'll strive to answer these questions using as close to layman terms as I can.

    1) If there was nothing to begin with, where did everything come from? (Creationist trying to disprove science through coercive questioning)

    One of the basic precepts of the universe is that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can be converted and it can be stored. Before time, there was energy stored in that whence came the Big Bang. Matter is energy. Just condensed into a solid state. The equation e=mc2 (E equals M C squared) is the most well known representation of the relationship between mass (matter) and energy. The Big Bang Hypothesis states that before the universe there was nothing but a massive, for lack of a better way to put it, black hole. We're talking extra-super-duper supermassive. There is no way that the common human can even comprehend how massive it was, you'd have to be a quantum physicist to even come close to understanding the sizes we're talking about here. The theory goes something along the lines that the original black hole basically exploded, and what was released was not quite matter as we know it, but instead sub-atomic particles that, due to the explosion, were crammed together and started forming the most base atom known... Hydrogen. As the hydrogen started to draw together it formed massive stars. Millions of times larger than our sun, these stars were very short lived before they blew apart, but in the process fusion occurred and heavier elements were formed; Helium, carbon, iron, etc. From these exploding suns were also formed the first progenitors of the galaxies, the first black holes. Matter was trapped in the gravitational fields of these black holes, forming proto-galaxies (due to distances, the farther out we view, the farther back in time we see, and we can still find some of these proto-galaxies today!). Repeat the process of forming stars for a few billion years and now the heavier elements get heavier. They start forming the initial planetoids. Massive planets, like the ones found in orbit around other stars create a different form of fusion in their core, and the extra heavier elements form. Through the process of destruction and recreation eventually you get to where we are today, with a diversity of elements that interact in ways we can barely begin to understand. Thus life.

    2) If there was nothing before the Big Bang, where did the void that the universe is expanding into come from?

    There wasn't a "void" for everything to spread out into. Before the Big Bang there was quite literally nothing as we understand it. We are creatures fixated on time, and before the Big Bang time itself did not exist. As for what the universe is "expanding into," it is sub-space. A non-time or space related area that, quite frankly, is so far beyond my comprehension that I can't even begin to try to describe it. Suffice it to say though, if the universe continually expands, it will still never reach the edge of sub-space because there is no edge.

    Any of this could be easily researched if people were to but take a few moments of time to do the proper research. I'd suggest starting with the research done by Galileo, so you can gain an understanding of how our solar system works, followed by some of the findings of more recent scientists (Hubble, James Webb, etc), and then finally move up to more diverse and incomprehesably brilliant scientists like Einstein and Hawkings.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Mercury32

      Nicely put.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Sharp

      Perhaps this will help. The Lord, Allah, Jehovah, Lord Krishna or whatever God you might believe in Abides by the rules & structure of the universe he or she or it created. All religions that try to dictate the minutiae of creation are trying to assert authority as a means of extending their power structures. ALL RELIGIONS ARE BASICALLY POLITICAL ENTITIES. Whatever faith you might profess this is gross disrespect towards your God. A far more interesting question is whether God is part of creation ( that is God IS the creation) or stands apart as a puppet master. I find the former more satisfying but there can never be a proof .

      August 12, 2011 at 12:44 am |
      • MOCaseA

        The statement that all religions are in essence political entities isn't far from the truth. However regardless of how accurate and specific science can get on the origination of the universe, there will always be the possibility, or idea of the possibility, of intelligent causality. There is no way around it, and I accept that fact. But to make a statement of fact that the only possibility is intelligent causality, that irritates me to no end. So I was just throwing out there what is currently known, based on some of the most recent documented discoveries, as hopefully a way to draw this into an intelligent discussion, rather than a sling-fest of "My way is better than yours."

        August 12, 2011 at 12:56 am |
      • Sharp

        The final decision about the universe being created vs self created as a belief is a personal one. The classic argument is that the universe is made to a wonderful & infinitely complex plan. A plan which mankind has almost no chance of ever fully understanding. Anything made to a plan has to have a planner. So it all boils down to that inductive leap. A plan requires a planner; God. I probably doesn't really matter, least of all to God.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:25 am |
      • MOCaseA

        Again your argument, despite attempting to be equally sided, is only one sided with the statement that the Universe is based upon a grand and unknowable design, it's laws and physics planned out in order for it to exist. I maintain that the laws and physics are not only discernible, but discoverable, and that nowhere is there an indication of some vast plan for the cosmos. The "design" you speak of is strictly a personal belief based upon ones individual faith. Thus the "plan" has no basis in science without some form of scientific process in order to bring about it's validation or debunkment.

        Sticking strictly to the known facts on hand, yet still allowing for the unknown, there is no evidence of a Intelligent causality, however there is also no proof to directly dispute Intelligent causality. Therefore, I will allow that there is the same chance for Intelligent causality as there is for Self causality.

        Self causality of course being the Universe came into being due to some event still unknown to man, but not due to the direct intervention of a higher intelligence.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  57. Mercury32

    I for one welcome our new meteorite masters...

    Awww... come on, you all are being too critical. Can't we just have a nice "hey, NASA did something and their might be more evidence of life outside our world'. Jeeze wiz. Many of you sound like Star Trek fans that spend hours discussing the impossibility of the show.

    Science is built on tiny discoveries and this time it was US scientists making a nice discovery with US tax dollars. Pat yourself on the back, look to the stars... and wonder. Cynical poops.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  58. erich2112x

    Looks like hash.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Mercury32

      Terrible shortage of that on the West Coast. But what does that have to do with anything?

      August 12, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  59. JJames

    Here's a video courtesy of NASA on the same topic http://youtu.be/6QwDbz3wdPM

    August 12, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  60. JJames

    Here's a video courtesy NASA on the same topic.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  61. guitar

    one question this is science.... so why are people talking about god????? i think it's because science has proven your beliefs wrong and you guys seem to be more interested in science rather than god.... ITS SCIENCE AND LEAVE THIS SHIT ALONE..... go bother someone who wants to hear about your god...

    August 12, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  62. WOT

    CNN, you should place a FEE for these sick ideas, I'll pay to read them; Now I know, I am not alone when it come to not being all human! Where are the homosaphains (thinking men/women).

    August 12, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  63. ZK

    Wow... so much hate in the (cyber) world. Hopefully this will turn out to be the Andromeda Strain... We're all pretty $hi**y to each other.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  64. shyboy69

    Looks like they finally found the origins of Obama.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  65. McGuffin

    They found some simple organic molecules, not DNA. Nucleotide bases are a far cry from a nucleotide polymer containing information. This discovery doesn't demonstrate anything other than that these types of organic molecules are common in our solar system, which should be no surprise considering that we are here. The discovery is being far overblown.

    August 12, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  66. Sharp

    DNA self replicates like another class of proteins which cause disease called Prions. (Mad Cow Disease) If such a meteorite hit a sterile earth where proteins & other hydrocarbons had formed non- biologically the contamination might spread & contribute to the start up of life. Another interesting Sci Fi conjecture. What other self replicating proteins might have fallen & caused contamination? Could Prions have caused the contamination instead of DNA? Could life evolve with Prions as it's genetic code carrier instead of DNA? Somebody rough out a script & send to your agent (or grant committee).

    August 12, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • McGuffin

      DNA doesn't self-replicate. It requires the assistance of proteins and riboproteins in modern organisms. It's thought that RNA was the original information carrier in early life, because RNA can fold into enzymes called ribozymes. In that scenario, DNA emerged as a more stable information carrier (it is double-stranded for error control and without the problem of uracil being able to mutate into cytosine), while proteins took over most of the roles of the ribozymes.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Sharp

      I stand corrected. What about Prions carrying genetic code? What about other self replicating organic compounds? This would be the true possible life other than life as we know it. Have silicon instead of carbon based life forms been eliminated as possibles?

      August 12, 2011 at 12:19 am |
      • McGuffin

        Oh for sure it's an interesting idea. Prions are very strange because they really do self-replicate - the prion is a malformed protein that can bind to a normal protein and cause it to become malformed. Kind of cool and scary, but by the way there's no genetic material in prions; they are just protein.

        I don't know much about the possibility of silicon-based life. It might be possible because silicon is in the same group as carbon (likes to form 4 bonds), but I think the problem is that silicon is too fat to allow the sharp turns and such in organic molecules that carbon is capable of. I guess it's conceivable life could have made it work somewhere though? There are organism on earth that respire using sulfur instead of oxygen, which I suppose is the same idea.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:26 am |
  67. jerry

    I know some people who have heads as hard as these meteor rocks. So maybe if you trace their family tree you will find they are dumb as a box of rocks.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Sharp

      You will find them in the nearest Teabagger infested trailer park muttering to themselves & worshiping G.W. Bush, their God.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Mercury32

      Uuuhhh... stupid is everywhere. In every color, in every party, in every house of worship, in every group of 1 or more. Thankfully there is usually a little smart too. Sadly, sometimes people want to believe that those that don't agree with them are automatically stupid.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  68. Derek

    There is no way this article is true. Because that one guy in the comments section said it's not, and he wrote 5 paragraphs explaining how he is the master of the universe and knows everything and we should all believe him.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  69. Colin

    Ok, I am prepared to admit I need help. Given the comments I have read, I cannot tell if this is a truly remarkable discovery or not. To me, as a lawyer, who knows very little science, it seems a remarkable discovery, lending credence to the panspermia idea, but I cannot tell if that is so or if this is journalistic sensationalism.


    August 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  70. gwmc

    Where did you come up with crap. They're called nucleotides not nucleobases. In an of themselves they do not constitute DNA. So congratulations, the press manages to mangle the facts in the case.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • McGuffin

      I agree with you about it not constituting DNA, however you should probably Google "nucleobase" before saying something dead wrong on a forum. Nucleobase is another word for nucleotide base, in other words the actual base part of the nucleotide. The full nucleotide includes the deoxyribose and phosphate group. Nucleotides and nucleobases are two different things.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Sharp

      The contamination itself would possibly be a major assist to the evolution of life; nucleotides or even close pre formed & not having to be formulated by chance.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  71. CC

    Most of these comments back up a theory of mine. Atheists are always angry. I think they need God’s love. I will pray for you.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Sharp

      They are angry because they reject their Father & His love. Many if not most scientists are devoutly religious because they can see the creator's marvelous work in it's tiniest details & because they stand in awe of the master of all artists & his masterpiece, us & the universe he made for us to live in.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:12 am |
      • MOCaseA

        How arrogant is the person who believes that the vastness of the universe was created for their sole existence.

        I suppose that the same creator gave you dominance over all the Earth, its animals and its minerals. If so I dare you to go exert your dominance (without a gun, as the original humans didn't have those yet) over a pride of lions or a black rhinoceros. Then once you have exerted your dominance over the said animal and tamed it through His divine grace go to Kilauea Volcano and exert your dominance forcing the eruptions to stop and the vast riches stored within to emerge for your enrichment.

        If you can do this, then I'll acknowledge your preeminence in the universe.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:35 am |
      • Sharp

        You miss the point ALL OF US, Not just me. Why do you say I want to control. I am grateful just to exist within the framework & be a part of it for my allotted time.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:53 am |
      • MOCaseA

        No, I understood that you meant all of us, and not just yourself. My statement was made of a generality as well, focused on you, the person making the statement of human dominance in the Universe, for making an arrogant and assumptive statement.

        "They are angry because they reject their Father & His love. Many if not most scientists are devoutly religious because they can see the creator's marvelous work in it's tiniest details & because they stand in awe of the master of all artists & his masterpiece, us & the universe he made for us to live in."

        I reject your God, but am not angry. I attempt to have calm and intelligent discourse with anyone any everyone, but there are a few things that set me off. One is the assumption and arrogance that humans are "God's premier creation in the universe, and everything was created for us." The other is "Without God, nothing would be possible." I accept that in Science there is always the possibility of Intelligent Design, or Intelligent causality, but I personally find it offensive when people come to the table with the stance of the ONLY possibility being Intelligent design or Intelligent causality.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  72. LB

    How can the be sure that they sources weren't contaminated by something on Earth? They've found fossils of tropical plants in Antarctica, so who's to say that there weren't animals there before the climate shifted to a cold one? It would be cool it it truly were from space though. I'd like to know that we aren't alone.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Sharp

      My understanding is that these meteorites are in the range of thousands of years old (on the Earth) not the many millions of years ago when Antarctica was temperate or even tropical.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  73. jess

    Urine contains epithelial cells from the lining of the bladder. Those cells have DNA

    August 11, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  74. Retarded monkey squirrel fish

    So God is the ultimate scientist? Kudos 2 you sir!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  75. Kalps

    Wow..this is so amazing. So is it possible, these kinda meteorites would have helped with life formation elsewhere too??

    August 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  76. wilson

    Wait, I thought god created life? On no! What are the church people going to say now?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  77. John

    The reason that we are all arguing about this topic is simply because we do not know. WE can believe in science or creation. believing in God is faith which is irrational reason. Believing in science is based upon logical reason and facts however what most people fail to realize is that scientific facts are simply facts because they have not been disproved jump 300 years in our future and half of what we call facts today will have changed and thus attempting to convince each other that one is correct is pointless. What should be pointed out that for all our knowledge both spiritual and scientific we really know nothing of the universe, everything is possible. So just try and keep and open mind

    August 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  78. iz

    For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" 1 Corinthians 3:19

    August 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • wilson

      And your point is....?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
      • iz

        my point wilson is all the people who comment here are obviously very smart but just cuz they decided that religion is stupid and is for stupid people and that there is no God doesnt change the reality that there is a God and that as humans we cannot understand everything.... it doesnt mean we shouldnt try but there are just some things we will never understand like who created God etc etc.....and to the guy who said God is Dead id like to know how do you think as human we came to decide what is right or wrong and according to who.......

        August 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      God is dead and science killed him. God didn't create man, man created God and now it serves no purpose as we move towards enlightenment concerning our origins. We no longer need super natural volcano and sun gods. This is the dawning of the age of man.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
      • guitar

        that is the best short paragraph i ever seen lol no seriously i think we all know god doesnt exist...... he just like santa clause. are parents tell us to believe in him until he find out he's not real.....

        August 12, 2011 at 12:11 am |
      • iz

        and one funny thing is that the bible actually warns about this kind of things..... that there will be people who will say just because you believe in an all mighty God your stupid your inferior society is moving on etc.... but hey we will all die and find out.....lol.... as far the santa thing? parents always told you about santa but santa never did anything for you;. you never experience santa cuz he doesnt exist but its a different story my parents pointed me towards the right direction i have the choice to either find out for myself if God is true or if its just a ferry tale.... ive experience him personally in my life and he isnt a ferry tale... you cant say its a ferry tale when u havent had relationship with God or even given Him a chance....

        August 12, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  79. AdmiralQuality

    If you morons hadn't fired Miles O'Brien, he might have been around to stop you from making embarrassing, flat out WRONG headlines like "DNA discovered in meteorites". Your other headline is wrong too. "Scraps" implies the amino acids CAME from DNA. Wrong. Rather, these are the building blocks of DNA.

    If DNA had been discovered in a meteorite it would be the biggest news headline EVER. Idiots.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  80. Richard

    The headline is utterly and irresponsibly false.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      Just learn to appreciate the fact that people even care about science anymore with all of the religious crazies trying to adopt religion in some idiotic attempt to keep it from being discredited. They said maybe... its a headline... the article is ok and written for the average "Joe." If you want pure research and scholarly articles concerning this topic, I can refer you to several recent ones. PS... the article is not totally false. That is an outright bias and fib.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  81. Alfredo Fla.

    Science is sooooo awesome!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  82. dwerbil

    'God of the Gaps' just keeps getting pushed farther back and back and back.....

    August 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
  83. Rocky

    Sorry to make a bother.

    When it comes where everything came from. Simple answers lies within eternal life believers for those who don't know (Persian Given Name HINDUS).

    Hindus believe in "BRAHMAN". There is two types, but the one we should understand is Nayari Brahman. God, is illusion created by humans, the actual machinery behind the universe according to the old Vedic Texts is impossible to comprehend. Beyond understanding, the universe – according to the text, has always been here in different stages, with no time, with no limit, with no restrictions, calling this a "UNIVERSAL SOUL" and we're part of it.

    There is more to the teachings, and I totally, recommend to research the history. Even though, we Praise the Western World, Signifcant BREAKTHROUGHS in Science and Research was made in the EASTERN CULTURES. Medicine, Cosmology, Iron WORK, Weapons.

    But all praise be with EINSTEIN AND NEWTON!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      Why are you trying to convert people to Hindu? I'm just satisfied enough to say science rocks!! Not the forum for religion. Everything exist without any regards to us..... its the universe. It doesn't care one way or the other. I agree that we don't know how this all started and we are capable of understanding it. But who cares? We are closer now to understanding our own origins as we have ever been. Without any religion.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  84. et al.

    DNA implies gender.
    Any info wrt that?

    August 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Alfredo Fla.

      Do you even know what DNA is? It doesn't imply gender.. though in an organism it can be used to determine it. Why am I attempting to explain this to you? Google it and then post.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  85. steelydon

    Ah, as for the articles attracting trailer park weirdos, I don't see any evidence to that, but, they attracted Jimmymax. Where did our DNA come from. 14 billion years, is what the astrophysicist estimate the age of the universe. There is no doubt that dinosaurs walked the earth. And there may have been time before that, that life generated upon earth, as well as other planetary systems in the expanse of the universe. Does anyone really have all the answers? I personally don't think so, but, would not dismiss any substance of reason!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |


    August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  87. neo

    CNN is cheap, as usual.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  88. Cyrus

    These meteorites are illegals, leaving behind their "anchor DNAs". Deport them.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  89. Priori

    ... the next great challenge will be to find intelligent life on Earth ...

    August 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  90. Rob

    Didn't bother reading the article because I found the caption under the picture on the home page to be funny and basically perfect for a CNN website argument.

    They've found building blocks for DNA??? I hope people realize this basically means nothing, except for the fact that meteorites aren't pure lead or some extremely hard metal like in armageddon.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  91. Kevin

    Nucleic acids do not necessarily mean that life invariably follows. I find it hard to believe seemingly random chemicals spontaneously form into a complex life form. Think of the second law of thermodynamics and entropy. Even for something as basic as a mitochondrion and its Na/K ATPase; I find trouble visualizing what evolutionary pressures would have causes this to form essentially by "dumb luck."

    I believe in God. Science is just a tool. Contrary to popular belief, you can be religious and a scientist.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Rob

      Completely agree, although I am not a scientist. I'm sure we (humans) may have evolved/changed over time (Americans today are larger because we eat more), but to think complex life just somehow spontaneously spewed out of hot water splashing on rocks over millions of years is absurd.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • John

      what about leprechaun? Do you believe in leprechaun too?

      August 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
      • Rob

        I honestly don't understand your joke. Do I believe in luck?

        August 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  92. giantkaraoke

    Hmm, I think it's very interesting that they said some of the nucleobases are only ever found in viruses – just yesterday for the first time in my life it occurred to me to wonder where the genetic material in viruses comes from. Hmm, I wonder.....

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  93. Big Al

    They're remnants...bits and pieces of the planet Krypton!!!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  94. omegarising

    What a fluff piece of crap article. I don't even know where to begin on this fluff piece of news crap, other than to say..No so called evidence they have would ever stand in a court of law. Total propaganda fluff piece, not real shocking from CNN.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Anon

      Is it because you don't know where to start or that you can't form a proper argument?

      August 12, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  95. Sam

    Tiny bits and doses of reality is being given to people as most are still living in Lala land. One day finally mankind will wake up to realize that political and religious leaders have been keeping you in the dark for so long. UFO, ET, life in cosmos are all true all along. The ancients knew it. Why does it take so long for people to wake up? Well mind control through fear my friends.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Kevin


      August 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  96. Waf98

    Why are science journalists so stupid?? The photo on the home page of CNN shows a time-lapse of star motion due to the rotation of earth – under a headline about DNA on meteorites. The clear implication is that the photo shows meteors streaking down to the earth, only those streaks are not meteorites at all. Let's face it, most of us are stoooopid! You can thank our sorry education system for that!

    August 11, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Luker

      Well it got your attention, dumba$$!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Nigel Tufnel

      Maybe you are just too smart for CNN.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • John

      You idiot, that's where meteor shower. Moron.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Joey

      I know, it's amazing how stupid science writers are. The errors here are unbelievable! My guess is that they are so stupid because the producer hires somebody's nephew, or probably some hot chick that he met in a bar, to do the science writing, figuring that not enough science-literate people come to Time to get science information anyway. They concentrate their resources on the Kim Kardashian stories.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
      • Joey Too!

        Exactly right Joey.. I give this story a big "Who is John Galt!?"

        August 11, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
      • Erica

        Obviously they would not have hired you for the writing, seeing that you kept using "science" instead of scientific.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:02 am |
      • Timmy

        is meterite evil? my mom says meterite is trick 2 kill us. god is testing us and making us beleive that we come from DNA.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:27 am |
      • Blair

        Timmy, your mom is an idiot.

        August 12, 2011 at 6:30 am |
      • super

        Blair, YOU are the idiot.

        August 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
      • Jessica

        super YOU are the idiot

        August 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • bob

        jessica YOU are the idiot

        September 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
      • Panspermia

        Idiot ewe like to bob

        September 9, 2011 at 7:01 am |
      • Timotheos Treciokas

        I agree completely with Blair.
        Timmy, whoever you are, your mum, and you, are obviously complete idiots who should not be worthy of a vote.
        I cannot believe people like you still exist, and are allowed to exist.
        I advise you to stop listening to your close-minded parents and go actually read something.

        September 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Phil in Oregon

      The ( incorrect) headline got my attention. Amino acids and protein are 2 different animals. No one has tried to explain the absolute necessity of polymerase in the reaction, either'

      August 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
      • itsybitsyspider

        Your (incorrect) complaint got my attention. Adenine and guanine are nucleotides, not amino acids. Just like DNA is not a protein.

        August 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
      • ?????

        Proteins = amino acids
        Learn biology.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:34 am |
    • Awesome Sauce


      August 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • hey

      you don't know if he is truly stupid or not tho... this writer is just trying to make his living, if you are truly worried about the intelligence of the writer i believe that you should try to help him rather than leaving an overly negative comment...

      August 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
      • Speakafreak22

        If you're being paid to do something, you're expected to do it without error, especially with something like writing a science article. He's subject to ridicule if he gets something wrong. Just because you're making a living off of writing doesn't mean you can make stupid mistakes.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:59 am |
      • JD

        If one gets pay to do something then one needs to do it at the best ability of oneself... not just "I am trying to make a living and plse forgive me if I sound stupid"; especially in journalism... the information will be seen by millions. There is no excuse for mistake in a science report. It's that simple!

        August 12, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Arran Webb

      In a few hundred years kids will be reciting the periodic table like they now do "Mary Had A Little Lamb." Science is heading towards dogma and mythology.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
      • stormsun

        Whoa, you mean you see science becoming a religion?

        August 12, 2011 at 1:55 am |
      • SATAN666

        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN
        HAIL SATAN

        August 12, 2011 at 2:15 am |
      • Peter Grenader

        the way education is going we'll be lucky if they can recite Mary had a little lamb when they're 30.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:31 am |
      • bobby

        @satan666 your grandma will die of herpes

        August 12, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Balls

      sorry. I accidentally the whole thing.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • guitar

      ok its called a meteor shower dumb shit and the article talks about meteor that fell to earth so....... put one and one together and you get an article talking about meteors having dna in them..... doesn't take that much thinking to know this..... youre and idiot..

      August 12, 2011 at 12:09 am |
      • Waf98

        That's just it, guitar. The photo is NOT a picture of a meteor shower. It's nothing more than a time exposure of the stars.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:31 am |
      • Peter Grenader

        @kidding: You're kidding, right? Tell me I'm too ignorant to see the irony in your posting, please!

        December 24, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Gordon Jones

      Proof that evolution exists. End of story.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:12 am |
      • DonG


        August 12, 2011 at 12:17 am |
      • Dave

        Not!!.... how can you conclusively state that anything falling from space with anything supports evolution...that's irresponsible thought. The article even states that the samples could have been contaminated on Earth....HELLO!!

        August 12, 2011 at 1:38 am |
      • Chris

        Of course evolution exists. It is fact, despite the tag of "theory". With that said, this finding alone isn't the smoking gun that proves anything, unfortunately.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:49 am |
      • hammertime

        f-in darwin................

        August 12, 2011 at 2:02 am |
      • Herby Sagues

        NO! The article is precisely about how these samles are VERY UNLIKELY to have been contaminated. True scientists don't speak in absolutes (like saying "it is impossible that they were contaminated on earth) so that's as clear an opposite to your statement as you could get. Read the article.
        That said, I concur that while this supports evolution (that is, it is in complete agreement with the theory of evolution and evenclarifies some of its uncertain factors such as the beginning of aminoacids) it doesn't prove it.
        But we don't need complete proof of evolution. There's orders of magnitude more evidence supporting evolution than evidence supporting any other theory, so beleiving in any other theory is not justified by rational thought.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:24 am |
      • Rob

        Seriously, do people still believe in Creationism? I thought we'd moved past the dark ages where people believe the bible is the actual history of the earth...really? To believe that God just snapped his fingers and bam! there we were! is just stupid and an insult to God. Clearly the universe is far more creative and complex!

        August 12, 2011 at 2:26 am |
      • Kidding

        No, this is actually proof that science writers will write anything they are told to write in order to promote an agenda. It is also proof that scientists will IMPLY anything just to push their agenda and keep their funding. So, DNA found in meteorites? No.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:21 am |
      • Kidding

        The "Theory of Evolution" has failed so many tests of it's validity that any other theory would have been abandoned decades ago. But, because so many frightened and strident evolutionists have nothing else to hang there hat on except this rotten and crumbling monument to self delusion, it keeps showing up in the pathetically outdated and inaccurate textbooks in our children's schools. The saddest part is when intelligent children try to make a stand and point out the obvious flaws, they are bullied and silenced by "liberal" educators who are only liberal with those who slavishly parrot everything that is spewed out at them. END OF STORY.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:29 am |
      • stormsun

        Nothing, by itself, is "proof that evolution exists." The compelling reason to accept the scientific theory as the best explanation for biological diversity (careful avoiding the word "believe," which is fraught with emotional overtones) is simply the overwhelming, vast array of evidence the theory takes into account. I will briefly dismiss the most intellectually challenged fundamentalists who claim the Earth is 6,000 years old. Unless you believe your version of God is capricious and deliberately treacherous, it is hard to account for the alleged creator having hidden literally billions of fossils, from microscopic to dinosaur-sized, in the rocks of our planet. Did He want to trick us? Test us? Challenge us to see through the most intricate hoax imaginable, using His divine powers to mislead and then punish us? If this is indeed your belief, I am finished addressing you, because you have excluded reason from your vocabulary. For the rest of the believers, many of whom are intelligent and well-educated, the burden is to see through your programming, because – like me – you were probably indoctrinated from infancy to accept without question the "wisdom" and "truths" of your religious leaders (and your parents, who were brainwashed before you). THIS HURTS TO CONTEMPLATE. I know that only too well. But look at the world around you – how do you account for the billions of people on the Earth who are equally fervent in their belief of Allah, or Scientology (cough, cough), or the Book of Mormon, or the hundreds or thousands of various religions CURRENTLY practiced, not to mention all those that have gone before?

        Evolution is not "belief." It is a theory of the mechanism for the constant change and specialization that takes place continuously in nature via the sternest measure of all: change that is advantageous allows survival; change that is disadvantageous is rewarded with extinction. From microbes to macrobes (like you and I), we see the evidence everywhere in nature. But scientists don't BELIEVE in evolution; is it an explanation, constantly being refined, revised, and modified to reflect what we are learning about the universe around us. Contrast that to religion, which despite having supposedly direct input from the Supreme Creator, did not even know about microbes, so that people could have been taught to wash their hands after defecating – which alone would have spared millions from unpleasant, early death. Surely Jesus would have known about micro-organisms, would he not? Why would he "not bother" to mention it to his followers? He didn't seem to be aware that the world was not flat, as most people of his time believed. Nor that HALF of the world was unknown to the primitive peoples of the Middle East. The Son of God, sent to redeem mankind, ignored all of North and South America, China and indeed all of Asia, as well as Australia, the islands of the Pacific rim, and for that matter, the whole of Europe – which was an unknown "pagan" region at the time.

        You "believe" as you want. I choose to constantly learn and adapt as new knowledge is acquired. We live in the time when knowledge is increasing more rapidly than ever in human history. Yet as always, organized religion is fearful of new knowledge. Why? Have you asked yourself this? It is because it threatens to encourage people to think and reason for themselves, and not be dependent on their "religious leaders" for direction and control. Make no mistake: religion is first and foremost about control in the here and now. Try telling your church leader you have decided you can't afford to tithe any more and see what they say about that.

        August 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Johnny Moscow

      So...who assembled these "scraps" into the actual binary information known as DNA that becomes intelligent processes like protien synthesis and the inner workings of the stem cell? Oh I forgot, that happened by random circumstance in the explosion of the meteor to Earth.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:14 am |
      • Kelly

        Somebody taught you to ask that question and so you do. Here's the answer, if you can handle it.


        August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am |
      • prepharm


        August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am |
      • Asmadi

        The same person who sits on clouds and hand constructs each and every snowflake. I think you call him God, but for sake of clarity I'll call him Santa Claus.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:47 am |
      • Annatala Wolf

        Abiogenesis does not occur simply by "random circumstance". In any system where protein formation is high, self-replicating proteins will naturally end up dominating the system over time. It's much like natural selection, except on a molecular scale.

        The implication you make that "great odds" are required for abiogenesis is entirely correct. This is probably why we don't see intelligent life forms everywhere we look in the infinite cosmos. It's not cause for alarm at our own existence, however.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:50 am |
      • Pointing out the obvious

        DNA is not binary. There are four compounds that make up DNA.

        August 12, 2011 at 12:57 am |
      • kyle

        The problem anita is there IS NO evidence a high protein situation EVER occurred in the past.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:12 am |
      • Paula_D

        @Kelly: What you offer is an argument; not an answer. Nothing on either side of the science vs. theology fence has been proven or answered here. Science offers a blunt instrument that allows us to measure our physical surroundings with our embarrassingly limited intellect but the scientific community separates itself from the spiritual realm, which I believe is real yet unknowable until after death.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:59 am |
      • Dumb Ideas Come From People with Dumb Brains

        Creationism is so...80 years ago. Didn't make sense then or now, i.e. your assertion there must be a supernatural entity that stirred primordial soup.

        Pick up a science book and try something not so...ignorant.

        August 12, 2011 at 2:31 am |
      • ZombieRitual

        maybe what happens after death is still a mystery to you, but i guess you'll find out then ... you just die ...

        August 12, 2011 at 2:58 am |
      • MonKey Punch

        I rather be wrong and die with nothing next, than, being beguiled by unbelief and die damned to suffer eternal torment.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:42 am |
      • Darwin the Racist

        In the beginning there was nothing. Then it exploded. SCIENCE!!!! 😀

        August 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • Nick Mayer

      Science is the most amazing thing ever! This is the sort of story that made me chose Biology as my major!
      Knowledge is POWER!!!! Science NERDS unite!

      August 12, 2011 at 12:22 am |
      • Mikc Nayer

        Nick...Science Major, REAALLLYYY???!!! Does it include the "knowledge" of the huge difference between DNA and Nucleotides?

        August 12, 2011 at 2:31 am |
      • Mikc Nayer

        I meant to ask, Biology Major*

        August 12, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Cp

      I was tricked by the title: DNA found in meteorites. No, it is NOT DNA. It is a bunch of nucleotides. There is such a big difference. DNA means life. Nucleotides means... Well, not much rally. Journalists. So annoying sometimes.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:41 am |
      • Tim L.

        That's exactly what i was thinking...it's not DNA. Very interesting but there is a huge difference between building blocks and DNA. Hard to believe CNN would post the title that way.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:29 am |
      • ME TOO!!

        I totally agree! DNA includes the deoxyribose and phosphate components which are not there (I can only assume based on the article). I've come to expect nothing less from CNN's "science" articles. The tragedy is people take this at face value and don't bother to delve deeper to understand what's really going on. Makes me wonder about some of the other stories on CNN...

        August 12, 2011 at 2:06 am |
      • floris

        That was a pretty glaring error. I'm amazed that the title has stayed up as long as it has. I don't think CNN hires journalists anymore. They just get cheap workers to compile articles from supplied data. If they paid a little more, they could get actual, trained journalists and have a decent reputation.

        August 12, 2011 at 3:11 am |
    • Sydney Australia

      Pretty sure that is a time elapsed photo of a .......ta-da METEOR SHOWER.

      And the story is about ........ta-da METEORS / METEORITES.

      You must have attended an unionized American school.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:44 am |
      • Waf98

        Well, tada, guess what? That is NOT a time lapse photo of a meteor shower! It is a time lapse photo of the stars at night, nothing more. I mean, think about it, dude! If that was a meteor shower, it would be one of biblical proportion. And, how do you explain that all the "tracks" are the same length? And that there is no single origin point? C'mon – surely you learned this in school??

        August 12, 2011 at 1:36 am |
    • Stockholm Sam

      Actually Waf98, I did not take that as a picture of a meteor shower and neither did my partner; we took it as a picture of space, which I think was CNN's intent. Perhaps you are the one not smart enough to get the simplest meaning behind a picture on CNN's front page.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:15 am |
      • Waf98

        Sam, wow. Simply wow. That you cannot make the simple connection between a highly suggestive photo and the accompanying headline is simply stupefying. And that you further defend the photo as nothing more than a picture of space stretches incredulity to the point of suspicion that you are related to the story's author. You and I both know that 99 out of 100 readers will think they're looking at a meteor shower.

        August 12, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Matt Sliwiak

      I despise how many commenters are more intelligent than many media writers attempting to reinterpret primary or secondary sources into headlines. Headlines meant to regurgitate science into lay people speak are both are purposely being misrepresented to draw readers and unintentionally due to the authors' negligence, ignorance, etc. I'm not saying science doesn't misconstrue data and extrapolate conclusions, but the majority of scientists do their best to make conclusions supported in data. Yes, data and measurements will always contain error, but...

      The Media must stop compounding error with faulty self extrapolations and misinterpretations based on data that already has minor error and conclusions based on single studies. I believe in the First Amendment, but I believe anything based on science always must be cited with at least a peer reviewed article link... etc.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • Shane

      It is a photo, it isn't designed to show you the meteorites streaking through the atmosphere. You call them stupid, but you seem to be the one who is too dumb to actually figure out what something is meant to be.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:48 am |
      • waf98

        Well, Shane, if this photo is not supposed to be showing meteors streaking through the atmosphere, why did the editors choose a photo that would make most people think it was showing meteors streaking through the atmosphere?? Come to think of it, did YOU know those weren't meteors??

        August 12, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Jrad

      Why are all the writers and editors on here women? What happened to the days that made since like when Peter Jennings was reporting, a man! Cool story though, it's nice to see that the building blocks of life came to Earth from space. Then again emergence is such a strong force that it could happen anywhere in the universe including here on Earth and now apparently on asteroids.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:55 am |
      • Amanda

        Why does it matter if the wrtiers and editors are women or men? What is wrong with you and the way you were raised to think women are incapable of being good writers? I have seen just as many poorly written articles by men as I have by women. Gender, race, etc. should not matter anymore, your qualifications, abilities and finished product should be the sole basis of judgment upon your work. Maybe you should check out the Sports page if you want a mostly-male team of writers. Let those of us with open minds read about science.

        September 10, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Omi

      This DNA created a complete Kretin like you. How sad is that? Why don't you do everyone a favor and shoot yourself in the head.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • McGuffin

      Not to mention that it's NOT DNA they found.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • barnboy

      Don't think they intended for the photo to illustrate a meteor shower precisely. Just think they wanted to give an impression of the vastness of space. Easy cowboy.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:06 am |
      • waf98

        I can think of a million ways to photographically depict the vastness of space other than using one which will make most people think you're depicting the very thing that you say they didn't want to show. Sorry, your explanation fails the test of logic. I think the editor invested all of two minutes and twelve seconds thumbing through a photo stock collection, saw this one, wasn't smart enough to realize this wasn't a meteor shower, and used it in an attempt to depict a meteor shower. My reason for even bringing it up is not to point out the difference between time lapse star trails and meteorites, but to illustrate how even professional science writers/editors don't understand some of the basic principles of science. And to lay the blame on the sorry state of education these days.

        August 12, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • someone's cranky

      Do you wait for opportunities to say things like this? What is your objective exactly, would you like the proceeding comments to be all about how smart you are? For the remaining questions to be directed at you about how CNN could have made this article better? Whoever wrote this probably submitted it and an art editor attached the picture later. Little did he know he would he would arouse the wrath of a pretentious little know-it-all who has nothing better to do than to leave snide comments about an out of place picture which did nothing to detract from the article. The art could have been a picture of a random scientist holding a beaker, who cares? The important thing was the title and content. You are obviously one of those people who have no friends in life and believe its because no one is good enough to be your friend but in actuality its jus because you're unpleasant to be around. Newsflash, you are not smarter or better than anyone else in this world, so stop thinking you are.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:10 am |
      • WeareallIgnorant

        Wow, just wow. The spiteful jealousy seeping off your post is really something. Clearly the people that you claim to be "know it all's" understand this article a lot better than you, and I personally appreciate them commenting on the errors made by CNN. The picture should have meaning to what the message in the article is trying to get across. You know, as well as I know, that the picture was supposed to depict a meteor shower - not just a random space picture. This is not the 3rd grade. Imagine that a huge southern California forest fire occurred and CNN wrote about it. Would they throw up a random picture of fire without the burning forest? No. Why? Because most people know what a forest fire looks like and would want to see not just flames but a burning forest on top of the article. This creates sensationalism and that is how they get half their readers in the first place. This leads me to the people who would know that the pseudo meteor shower is actually a time-lapse. This group is minute, probably made up of either scientist of some sort and or intellectuals whom enjoy the topic. If you knew a topic well and became excited for this pseudo breakthrough in evolution, would you not get a tinge upset at how misleading the whole article seems to be? Also, why do you not want to know the real truth of the article? Enjoy living in deep ignorance much? I know i don't. So, yes the picture is wrong; as well as the misleading title - and I thank the intellectuals that study this topic, for they actually taught me something; whereas this article did not. Alas, have some humility to admit that they are right and that you do not know much about the topic at hand. Yes, you are right that not everyone knows everything, but what I really wonder is: how did you come to that conclusion with the comments on here? Just because you do not know much about space - does not mean you are dumb. So, relax; take a breather...and have a nice day. 🙂

        August 12, 2011 at 3:48 am |
    • KingNerd


      August 12, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • queenbee

      correction: NASA issued an apology today when it was discovered that the large chunks with DNA thought to be meteorites turned out to be burned up pieces of lost luggage, that had been missing from JFK airport since 1993...the mistake was discovered when some of the DNA was matched (via the gene bank) to the old socks, of a Trudy Ringwo who happened to lose all of her luggage at the TWA terminal.....in other news...

      August 12, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  97. Ian

    "DNA discovered in meteorites"


    DNA has not been discovered in meteorites. Instead, simple and very boring purine and pyrimidine bases have been discovered.

    We have known since the Urey Miller experiment in the 1950s that such molecules could be formed before the emergence of life on primitive Earth, e.g. in the presence of lightning.

    This "discovery" really isn't very interesting at all. The molecules don't even have optical activity. Some months ago there was a similar fuss when glycine (achiral amino acid) was discovered on a comet. Another boring small molecule with no optical activity. Wake me up when they find a meteorite which contains molecules that have optical activity.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Paganguy

      What have you discovered? Ever. Or you can just tear down other's work. Go back under that flat rock.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
      • um

        Paganguy clearly doesn't understand much of anything. Ian is clearly confusing him with pesky "facts" and "knowledge".

        August 12, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • hurley1234

      Um... they said DNA scraps. Way to twist their words.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • JLS639

      The headline said "DNA" was discovered in meteorites, although the article quickly made it clear that was not what was found. However, it is usually editors, not story writers, who write the headlines, so I do not blame the writer. When I saw the headline, I figured they just found purines, pyrimidines and racimic mixtures of sugars. If they had found any intact DNA of extraterrestrial origin, this would be a much larger story.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Alex

      What does the fact that a molecule is achiral or chiral have to do with its importance in the origins of life? Glycine is an essential amino acid so I don't understand why it's discovery in some extraterrestrial context would be any more "boring" than some amino acid that is chiral.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Landon

      I agree. Very misleading title. DNA carries information. The bases themselves do not.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:30 am |
  98. Doc

    Check your references. DNA nucleotides have been identified before. This is not a new discovery unless there's information I’m missing in this article

    August 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • TS

      >>"Check your references. DNA nucleotides have been identified before. This is not a new discovery unless there's information I’m missing in this article"

      I believe the difference is that they feel they have evidence that the DNA found was not due to contamination from terrestrial sources. The NASA article agrees with you in that DNA has been found before; however, the earlier finds could not be proven to *not* come from terrestrial contamination.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
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